Sunday, August 5, 2012


The full modern translation of Robert Burns' famous quote from his poem To A Mouse is "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry". And boy did my plans ever! Go awry, that is.

Extremely early Saturday morning, I let Annie in the yard to take care of business and get a bit of exercise before the day turned impossibly hot and humid. There is still a gigantic pile of weeds, the end result of our yard clean-up effort, that need bagging. Annie has been using them as her own canine version of a jump bar in some kind of doggie Olympics but this particular morning she didn't jump over. Instead she kept circling the pile and crying.

Realizing what was going on, I chased her away from the pile and gave her the voice/hand commands to get on the porch. She did and I closed the gate. After a quick visual once over of the weed-mound I noticed what appeared to be an opening in an inconspicuous spot. Now I knew the reason for the circling and crying. "Great," I thought to myself, "Now I've got cats sleeping in the pile of weeds." Not realizing what exactly was going on.

Sunday morning came and the day was shaping up to be even hotter, more humid and definitely more uncomfortable than Saturday. When I opened the back door I decided to only allow Annie on the porch. Much later on I decided to take a peek at the back to see if any of the strays showed up since I didn't see any of them the day before. There was the first girl sitting and licking her paws.

I grabbed some pouch food and went into the yard to fill her bowl. As I approached she hissed at me. She held her ground then made a defensive move towards me but thought better of it, ducking under the fence into the adjoining yard. She sat there hissing at me. "What are you hissing at me for, dummy, I'm feeding you." I said to her. I poured the food into the bowl from a standing position since she was acting funny. She skirted around me to sit next to the opening in the weeds hissing all the while. Dummy me! Then I was hit with the dawning realization why the defensive behavior and what I heard next confirmed it - a kitten crying!

Now I have a pile of weeds in the backyard that can't be bundled up until the babies emerge. Annie will have to be confined to the porch, I don't know if my brother and I will be able to do any other cleaning and I need to get some expert advice on how to handle the next couple of months.

The weeds Girl and her babies call home.

The dark area against the cinder-block wall is the opening to their den.


  1. Hi Barbara - Congratulations on the new blog and look forward to pictures of the kittens when they make there way out from the weeds! :-)

  2. Thanks Tim. Soon I'll be certified to manage a feral colony so I'm excited about that. To all my readers: Tim has a great blog entitled Tim's Strategy. If you're looking to take charge of your career his blog and books are must reads.