Sunday 27 January 2019

Snooze and chips and sealing rats. And a happy blog day.

I slept soundly for three nights*.  I said to Tim yesterday that I mustn't read anything into that - neither that it was too good to last, nor that this was a breakthrough and that I'd sleep better in future.  As it happened, I didn't do too well last night - 9 o'clock now and I won't last until 10, I don't think.  Getting old is fine, but it can be a bit tedious on occasion.

It's still all Man (in the mankind sense) against Rat in the henhouse.  After the last disaster, I put a layer of chicken wire on the base and coming well up the walls of the shed, then concrete slabs on top as far as I could, because they didn't fit exactly and I didn't have quite enough anyway, and filled in with bricks and there were still a few gaps where I put in big stones.  Then I covered the whole lot with a piece of vinyl floor covering offcut and some chipboard.  And, on Thursday evening, I noticed that it had been nibbled.  I panicked a bit, covered any possible areas with bricks and had to leave for London the next morning.  On Saturday morning, I found another newly nibbled area.

We searched and puzzled, took out all the moveable bits, including nest boxes, and really couldn't work out how the little buggers were getting in.  It made no sense - until Tim spotted a tiny gap at the side where they'd nibbled through the corner of the shed and slipped through the edge of the wire.  So he jammed a stone in the hole and staple-gunned the wire and I've filled in every gap, one way and another.  I have to have a sheet of tin in front of the door because they are eating their way through there.  They do no harm to the chickens, but other rodents - I suspect stoats - do.

The rat-proof feeder isn't, so I have to block that off every night too.  Then I leave the door open to the greenhouse so that the cats get in during the night and worry the rats a bit.  I haven't tonight though, it's very blowy out there.  It's not actually that cold, but it feels as if it is.  Snow is due, apparently, in the next couple of days, so I rather hope that the wind has died down by that time, as it tends to form a three-foot drift in the drive if it's windy.  I'd call it a metre deep, to encourage the young, but it would be an exaggeration.  But many's the time I've dug our way out to the road, all 100 yards or possibly metres of it.

Talking of cats - as I did, briefly - even the shyest lets me stroke him now.  Not for long and I don't meet his eyes, as it's too challenging for him.  But there is a pleasure in having a wild creature trust you.

I've had an update from Tessa about Tim the hedgehog (for he's a boy, so we're doomed to confusion. Eloise cat is one thing, but Tim hedgehog takes far too long to say).  He's getting better and put on 100 grams in the first couple of days.  Tessa reckons that he'd have died by now without help.  She's going to check his teeth to be sure he can catch food in future - though if he can't, he can just join the throng down in the barn.  I"m sure the cats won't be at all bothered.

It's my 13th blogging anniversary.  Gosh,

* I was awake in the intervening days, of course.


DUTA said...

Happy blogging anniversary!

Blue Witch said...

Happy Blogday! Rather appropriately for 13 that you have disappeared. Not sure what made the old address pop up in my browser bar... must have been something Witchy :)

Z said...

Thank you both - I will get around to sorting out the other site by the end of the week. Just that admin is sooo boring.