Sunday, 8 November 2009

the theft and the clues

While people still ask me what I do with my (retirement) days, there is a certain ritual to the diurnal rhythm of our lives. Between our volunteer work and our daily rituals, life is good. My dream, to retire here in Muskoka, has been fulfilled, having inherited my parent's home.

On Thursday, the bird feeder had filled with rain, I spotted Rocky raccoon drinking from the dish, the bird seed long gone. By Friday, the water had frozen, like the frog pond, with ice foreshadowing what is to come.

Normally, I go outside, in the chill of the morning, and put out or fill up the 'bird' feeders. I use the term loosely, as the 'coons, squirrels, flying squirrels, mice all share the feeders at various times of day or night. The cats take up their posts, after they have been fed, knowing where to wait silently, sphinx-like, hoping to play. The squirrels use the deck railing as a Nascar track; looking for food and escaping the cats.

The lake calls me, since the lake, the land and the air are never the same on any day in a row. I often wander down, camera in hand, looking for beautiful images to carry me through the day.
This morning's feast for the eyes came in the form of the fog, God's hand massaging the land, as it comes to terms with the gradual cooking of the water and the land temperatures. Scientifically, it is called 'temperature inversion' as the water is giving off its moisture, but I prefer to think of it more poetically!

It is so calming.

Next, comes the feeding of the three cats. Sady, allergic to regular cat food, is on an expensive vet food, Oliver eats anything (e.g., frozen muffins) and Mitz, with her social-emotional-psychological issues eats whatever we can get into her.

This involves feeding the first two, kicking them outside, and putting out her favourite (cheaper!) food, which she eats with her paw, flipping it over the fridge door, floor and placemats, designed to make clean-up easier. Needless to say, we have to wash the floor daily.

And so, they all line up in the kitchen. This is how, with the evidence outside, I know the cats were not responsible.

Next: inspection of the deck. I commented last night (I know I jinxed it!) that the 'coons seemed to lose interest in the metal garbage cans that house the squirrel's peanuts (slows them down, and leaves more food for the birds), and the sunflower seeds.

They chucked the rock (15 lb.?) off of the can, removed the lid, and knocked it over.

Sure, my fault. I was cocky. Obviously, someone had a feast, with peanut shells all around the can. They'd conveniently sat in the lid and reached into the peanut bag - still inside the can, and not totally empty!

At least, they left the Nyger seed for someone else! Those bags were untouched.

Closer inspection reveals the evidence. A few peanut shells, and a tuft of hair; with skins cells attached, and liquid on the deck.

There was a fight, indeed.

The cats were in all night, the cooler subzero (C.) temperatures dissuading nocturnal hunting.

I don't know. I prefer to focus on the lovely scenery afforded us our Muskoka vistas.

The night life doesn't thrill me!


Gaelyn said...

You live a delightful life in a beautiful serene (sometimes) setting that fullfills your dream. The foggy mornings offer a mysterious greeting to the day. The cats are entertaining. As is the wildlife. Note to self: put seed in garage.

Thanks for sharing your morning.

Jenn Jilks said...

That's a great idea, Gaelyn, but there *is* no garage, only a carport, and it is on the other side of the house. I could put the seed in the shed, but it's a bit of a walk around the house. I just have to put on the rubber bungie cord. So silly these raccoons...

Ontario Wanderer said...

Good luck with the raccoons. I gave up keeping the bird feed outside. The metal garbage can is in the barn with the door closed at one end and the donkey guards the other door.

Jenn Jilks said...

Good idea, Wanderer. I think the cats would love a donkey! The metal is the way to go!

Cloudia said...

You are the muse of Muskoka!

Aloha, Friend

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