We usually think of a windy season as a time for somewhat of a natural cleaning of left-over winter leaves and debris. While all this detritus does pile up in corners and fence line, it is for the most part cleans off our yards, cars and sidewalks. Well there goes another well-loved myth.

This year’s early spring winds have been much less helpful. Thanks to some early plowing in Indiana and Illinois a somewhat more intense wind than usual swept over the dry plowed ground, and kicked up heavy clouds of dust. Then these winds blew our way and deposited a thin film of excellent crop soil over every surface it could find. Our cars, trees, windows, buildings, roofs—you name it and it was given a new dirty coat. We will still be trying to get everything cleaned up way up into the summer, I’m sure. Of course, it is said that even ill winds can blow some good---guess those selling cleaning products for all our dirty windows etc. are glad for the extra commerce.

Which brings me to birds and cats—well it doesn’t really, but this is a sharp right turn is because I haven’t reported on my cat colony in a long time, I thought the cat lovers among us might like to know how my large brood of hungry cats bore up during the long, cold winter. When those bitter winds before Christmas decided to descend on us and kill and/or damage so much of our landscaping, it also gave my scared, already too timid, feral cats a good scare. Temps way below zero are not conducive to good cat comfort.

Animals left to their own devices have through eons of adaptation, found it necessary to adjust in whatever manner might present itself. My visiting cat clan did the same. They are not allowed as a rule to visit or eat in my garage, but when cats of all ages felt the intense cold they broke this rule. Thankfully my ever cat loving brother was visiting, and I had the best time watching him improvise warm places, a feeding and watering station and enough bowl and pans for each one of those frigid felines. During the next two days of such low, low temperatures he checked, watered and fed them quite often. They all made it just fine and when his visit was over the cats seemed to know their vacation in the garage was over, too.

The food station returned to its rightful place on the patio, the beds all folded up and stored and we went back to normal—two meals a day free for the taking. There it is, take it or leave it. The only pay I ask is keep birds off the patio and away from my windows. In spite of all my careful planning and regular meals they only do about a half job at this. They won’[t let me pet them or enjoy them in any way and it does seem to me that a little policing of those pesky birds is not too much to ask.

Herding cats remains an almost impossible task, but they are quite wily. You see they found the garage on their own and while they know there will be no food, it seems they did discover it would be a good place to protect baby kittens. No litters yet this spring, but it will not be long now. Have you ever noticed cats always win! Anybody want a kitten?

By the way those bitter winter winds did a number on so many of our Crape Myrtles. We will need to do some replacing and when we do it would be great to put in extra ones.

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