I'd like to introduce the newest critters on the homestead - Hansel and Gretel (or Eowyn and Eomer). The names are a work in progress.
The kids have wanted a cat for some time and we've been deliberating about caring for an outdoor kitty. We could definitely see benefits in combating mice and voles. We see evidence of the voles all over the property.
Looks pretty cute in the photo, doesn't it? Thriving on mostly plant life, they will certainly wreak havoc on the vegetable garden, bulbs and the herb garden.
I could also see the beautiful song birds that frequent our feeder becoming prey for the cat. However, as cute goes - the cat is much cuter than the vole and we can do our best to relocate the feeder to help the songbirds survive. I wish I knew how to train the cat to be selective in the hunt!
So the search for the cats was on and we first stopped at the local animal shelter. The local government operated facility is most definitely not a 'no-kill' shelter and they are not set up to quarantine sick animals from the healthy ones. We spied a couple of very spunky young kitties, but were worried about diseases, so we left without selections.
We then stopped at a privately operated non-profit shelter. A Time 4 Paws houses as many adoptable cats and dogs as possible, with a long waiting list of critters in foster care waiting for space in the central facility. We found Hansel and Gretel there, 6-8 mos old siblings, recently spayed and neutered, vaccinated and with a clean bill of health from a local vet. They will live solely in the garage until acclimated to us and their home, then we hope that they will have a blast roaming the property daily and hopefully return to the garage for the night. Our Lord of the Rings fans are considering names of the Rohan kingdom siblings, Eowyn and Eomer. We'll let you know!