Monday, November 16, 2015

Here it Comes!!

Well folks, it's looking like winter will be arriving in the Mile High City tonight. We've had a few small snows so far, but this storm looks to be the real deal. There's a blizzard warning out, and the snow totals are all over the map. I've seen everything from 3 inches to 2 feet predicted!


Sooo... I've been busy prepping for the storm.

My main concern is the outdoor kitties, so I set up a few wind breaks around the kitty village in hopes that it will prevent any blowing snow from drifting in and inundating their little houses.


They also have another house on the south side of the house, and I was concerned that it could get buried. Fortunately, someone tore out an old wooden gate and left the pieces in the alley. They were the perfect size to create a little lean-to to protect it.



And I've tried to secure anything that might blow away in the winds...


The trash cans don't usually blow away, but their lids do tend to blow open so...


Then there are the gutters. This is a really long story, so I'll spare you the details, but the gutters on my garage weren't installed correctly, so they weren't draining. The result was that during our first big rain/snow of the season, the water overflowed the gutters and poured down onto the back patio, totally inundating the little kitty village. Seriously, their houses had an inch of water in them!

The only real way to fix it was to add an additional downspout - but it was problematic because the place it needed to go was right by the gate, meaning it would leave a big puddle (and subsequently ice rink) right where I have to walk. Not good!

So, I got creative.


It's a bit Rube Goldberg-esque, but it's working great, and the kitties stayed perfectly dry during the last rain. 

Of course, CatMan, who actually has something called spatial ability, took one look at it and said that the right thing to do would be to turn the corner and run a downspout horizontally across the top of the garage door, and then make it go down and drain into the alley. Why didn't I think of that? 

Well... next spring maybe...


In other news, Little Blackie is turning into a real sweetheart.


She likes to play, and if I wiggle a long piece of straw or a stick, she'll happily chase it for hours. She still won't let me get close enough to touch her, but she and Smoky seem to be bonding...


Alrighty! It's supposed to start fallin' in an hour or two, so here's hopin' everybody stays safe and warm!

And on that note, I think I'm gonna go make a big batch of chicken soup!

Happy Winter Everybody!!!


18 comments :

  1. What sounds like are pictures of your yard are not displaying for me. (Basically, nothing shows except the first and last pix.) Would love to see them. Hope all stay warm tonight!

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    1. Uh oh... I tried a different method for inserting the pictures from my smartphone, which was much easier on my end, but clearly didn't work exactly as planned. I think I've fixed it now so you should be able to see my lovely works of photographic art! :-)

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  2. I saw what I think were all of the pictures. Blacky sure is a beauty I hope she and you survive the storm well.

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    1. She's a little doll! I haven't ventured out to feed them yet, but about half an hour ago I saw her out playing in the snow so she weathered it just fine. :-)

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  3. It has been freakishly warm here- 14-15 C...supposed to be dropping at the end of the week to more like 6 C which is more normal for this time of year...I'm actually looking forward to it feeling like winter!

    We haven't had snow and might not get any all winter...just rain and strong winds recently!

    Your storm preparations look very thorough- I hope you all stay warm and safe. Little Blackie is looking big and healthy- and lovely that she is letting you play with her :)

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    1. It's been crazy warm here too. We actually only ended up with about an inch of snow, and hardly any on the streets or sidewalks. It just wasn't cold enough, so most of it fell as rain or melted as soon as it hit the ground. Can't say that I'm terribly sorry about that! :-)

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  4. I'm so glad you're taking care of the outside kitties. Blackie looks like my little Kia. Have you considered throwing a tarp over the picnic table and weighting it down all around? It helps to keep blowing snow off of the kitty houses. Stay warm

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    1. Now that's an interesting thought. What you can't see from the picture is that the picnic table is under a covered patio, so it usually stays pretty dry under there. I haven't ventured out yet, but it looks like there's only a dusting of snow on the picnic table. But if we'd had more snow with as much wind as we got last night, it might have been a different story, so I'll definitely keep that idea in mind for our next blizzard! :-)

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  5. Aww, Blackie has beautiful markings! We have a neighbor cat who likes to come visiting--but my cat is definitely NOT bonding with Mr. Stanley. Cute to see your picture of Smokey and Blackie interacting.

    I saw your storm predictions on the news last night and thought of you. I kinda like the first storm of the season (as long as I don't have to drive in it)--is that weird? It's a great excuse to hunker down, make soup and bread, and read or watch a movie. Hope you can enjoy some cozy time and that your indoor and outdoor beasts stay warm and dry.

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    1. Alas, it didn't end up being much of a storm. Well, I should qualify that. The wind was howling and lots of stuff fell from the sky, but it was just too warm to get much in the way of accumulation. Most of it fell as rain, and then when it did switch over to snow, most of it melted as soon as it hit the ground. A few miles south or west of here where they've got a bit more elevation though... hammered!

      I'm still enjoying my chicken soup though, and I think there might be enough white stuff out there to justify at least the mini-boots while I shovel (more like scrape) the small amount that did stick to the sidewalks.

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  6. Don't forget that snow makes an excellent insulator. Like igloos for the eskimos. So as long as the doorways are clear, a little snow on top is actually better than the cold wind blowing across your shelters.

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    1. Good point. My concern with the house that's exposed to the elements is that the lid doesn't look like it can support much weight. It's sorta bowed on top, and if something really heavy (like 2 feet of wet snow) was on top of it, I was afraid that it might collapse the lid and inundate the shelter.

      I think it might be a moot point though, since judging from the footprints in the snow it doesn't look like anybody slept there last night. I think Mama Gray, who is the most feral of the bunch, actually slept under a pine tree. I might make a small house and shove it under there just so she's got another option if she wants it...

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  7. Aww, I love that you're putting such effort into keeping the kitties safe and warm! I hope you're all staying dry and warm.

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    1. They seem to have weathered the storm just fine. They were sure happy to see me when I brought out bowls of warmed cat food this morning!

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  8. I'm really glad to hear your snow didn't amount to much for two reasons. The first is I know you don't really want 2 feet of snow yet and the other is what you get usually comes my way a few days later. I know I don't want it yet. We've had a really cold autumn but today through Thursday we are having 60 degree days Woo Hoo!.

    I so admire the effort you go to for the stray cats in your area. Little Blackie is gorgeous, I just love her coloring. So when do you plan to bring her inside?

    Great minds think alike. it's definitely soup season. I have a French cabbage and white bean soup in the slow cooker right now.

    Stay warm, Cat.

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    1. Ooooo.... cabbage and bean soup sounds delicious! You should post the recipe!

      Well, I hope you don't get hammered by this storm. Really the only thing that saved us from a major snowfall was how warm it is. That's actually happening a lot lately. I think that's what happened when we got all of the flooding back in the fall of 2013. We got a big upslope storm - the kind that generally means several feet of snow... only it was too warm so it all fell as rain. While I'm happy not to have the snow to contend with, it's sort of a worrisome trend.

      And in terms of Little Blackie - there are still several major hurdles that would need to be crossed before she could come inside. She'd have to get to the point where she'd let me touch her, and she'd have to pass a medical exam to be sure she wouldn't pass any viruses to Smoky & Jasper. So we'll just have to take it one step at a time. At the moment we're still on a waiting list for traps with the TNR program (trap neuter & release).

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  9. Wow, you are a very caring and warm person. Just like my mother does for our kitties and the outside kitties.

    Take care,

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    1. Awww... thanks so much for your kind words.

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