Monday, January 19, 2015

Cats! Lots and Lots of Cats!

As mentioned in my Update post from a couple of weeks ago we have been planning to relocate several cats to the farm. Last week we finished the temporary cat house, or, at least, got it to the point that it is usable. With that done Jen decided to relocate the cats and get them settled in over the weekend.

On Saturday morning we got up early and prepped the Escape for the task. We began by putting down a layer of cardboard, which we then covered with an old sheet, in case there were any accidents during the trip. We then loaded an extra-large dog crate and five cat carriers into the back. Once we arrived at the cats' location Jen started loading them into the carriers, with the more troublesome ones getting their own, and the more cooperative ones sharing. She managed to locate and catch thirteen cats and load them into the carriers.

Surprisingly the hour and a half drive back home was relatively uneventful. There was some meowing at first, but the cats calmed down quickly. There were some pretty terrible smells emitting from the carriers on a couple of instances, but rolling down the windows helped with that. All in all it went very smoothly.

Things didn't go quite as smoothly once we arrived home. We loaded the dog crate into the bed of the RTV, strapped it in, and then headed up the hill to the cat house. The weather was warm, which made for a nice day to be outside, but a terrible day to be going up and down that hill. After the recent freezes the warm weather had thawed the previously frozen ground and left it a muddy mess. After multiple attempts I finally had to stop on the hill and have Jen take the controls while I pushed. Even with this we didn't manage to get to the top, so had to carry the carrier the remaining 20 feet or so. The next trip was much the same, although this time we managed to make it all the way to the top, with my pushing.

We had to make one more trip off the hill and back up later that day, and I actually managed to make it all the way to the top that time without pushing, although a couple of times I was sure I wasn't going to make it. Since that last trip I haven't even tried the RTV again and have, instead, just been using the four-wheeler since it handles that hill much better when muddy. I think it is due to the difference in air pressure in the tires as well as the significant weight difference between the vehicles.

I rode up this morning to feed the cats and check on them. They all seem to be settling in nicely. I've already made friends with a few of them. I have a feeling that the cats are going to thrive in their new environment. Jen plans to go back and look for the remaining four cats that didn't make the trip. Since we have relocated the majority, though, I'm calling it a success.

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