Monday, October 7, 2013

Operation Kitty Cat...

We were told when we moved here that there are snakes. Everywhere. Which one's are good to have around and which one's can't be around. We were told to have flat head shovels placed strategically around the property, so we did. One by the front door, coop and tack room. We knew it wasn't a question of if we would see a snake but rather when...We are not about killing things around here but rattle snakes are really bad and their bite could kill us not to mention the animals.

Well last week I killed my first rattle snake. It was just out my front door and wasn't very big at two feet long and an inch and a half or so in diameter. Still pretty freaky since we were also told that babies are typically more dangerous than adults. Something about controlling venom.
Photo by monkey.
For the last couple of weeks we've been waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of field mice and their nails scratching away inside our air vents.  I've hung the fabric sheets and it does seem to help but non the less the annoying scratching continues.  The mice apparently are in large numbers too hence the snakes.  I'm thinking as they are such a great feed source for them.

So this got me thinking.  If we can decrease the mice, the snakes may decrease and I can get sleep all night long without interruption.
Hello Operation Kitty Cat!
We don't like to use pesticides around here as everything falls into the "circle of life".  I'm afraid if I poison the mice the owl, chicken, dog or coyote that eats it could get sick and die as well. So last week I picked up a bunch of kitty stuff and began to get ready. Today I brought home two rescued four month old feral cats.
The black kitten was unsure and didn't want to get out of the carrier. Whereas Ms. Blue Eyes jumped right out onto my lap and walked around me checking everything out, even my feet... Not sure how feral she is?

After a few hours I went to check on them and found they are eating, drinking, playing with the toy I got them and
the little black and white girl decided it was okay to leave the carrier.
The girls will live in the tack room for a couple weeks to get comfortable and know where "home" is. Both girls are adorable and I'm thinking in time,  we'll be best of friends.


  1. Love barn cats! Good idea, Jen. When we lived in Twin Pines we killed 17 rattlers in one season. It was hectic - I'd often look out the window while holding my baby boy and my husband looked like he was doing a sort of "dance" with a shovel. Gee whiz.

    Out here, not so much - one copperhead in 7 years and the rest of the time we encounter black snakes and also our favorite, king snakes (their presence generally keeps poisonous snakes away...).

    Soooooooo. Best wishes. The cats/mice will help but that territory will probably always be a migratory pattern for the snakes. Be VERY careful lifting ANYTHING up. Keep Chancie's paddock clear, too. You probably know all this already.

    Cute cats :)

    1. Hi Sheila, I found our house while out on a trail ride and loved the area but it can be dangerous. In addition to the snakes we are also in a known fire area so we have planned for that as well. Nature can be can tough she is also so beautiful. I'm learning planning makes a HUGE difference. BTW 17 rattlers would totally freak me out! All my neighbors have lived out here for years and say it varies but on average no more than a handful a year and often times it's much less... fingers crossed :)

  2. They are TOTALLY adorable. And will be effective, I'm sure! I would get a cat to live with everyone in the shed, but Keela would have a nervous breakdown. Not so keen on cats, that dog :-) Congratulations!

    1. Thanks Joan, I haven't introduced our doggies to them yet. I figure one thing at a time :).

  3. Mice, rats, and snakes are the exact same reason we have three cats! It is true that if there are less rodents, the snakes look elsewhere for dinner. I hope these kitties do a splendid job for you!

  4. Lovely kitties.
    Oh my, been along while since I have lived in rattlesnake country ( I def don'T miss them !).

    1. Hi Willow
      Thanks for visiting, i'm off to check out your space now. Did you live in the southwest?

  5. Awww, such cute kitties! I'm so glad you rescued them and are giving them a great home. I hope they do the trick with the mice - I think they will. Just this morning my little Emma brought me a mouse as I was heading out to feed her!

  6. oh my word...the snake. Snakes scare me to DEATH. I will tell you I actually HATE them. You are brave. All that to say, we have one. I let Dylan get one even though I can't stand them. I like to hear your stories and read how you think. I like your blued eyed new kitty lots. So cute.

    Love your friend