Yard Progress

The last couple weekends I’ve been working on finishing the landscaping for another section of my yard.

Before (look along the fence by the gate):

When I started the weekend before last I was only planning to remove some gravel so I could work on the flowerbed edging and retaining wall along the fence. Since I wasn’t planning to do anything major I didn’t think to take a good before picture. Then once I’d removed some gravel I got to looking at it and decided I had enough space to start adding things, and eventually it got too dark to work and I had to stop. This was taken the next day:
After round 1

I was pretty proud of the progress I made, but having loosely retained gravel holding up a few paving stones made it hard to get to the fence-side of the flowerbed. After having to work my way along that side several times assisting Talore in hunting grasshoppers (bonus pictures of this later) I figured I should work on that this past weekend.

I didn’t start with big plans, I was just going to move some dirt/gravel out of the way (again). This was taken when I realized I’d cleared a whole ‘nother segment-worth of space (segments being the width of the weedblock fabric I’m putting down under the gravel):
Before 2

And the after picture from Sunday:
After 2

I tried to line up the pictures so they’d be from the same angle, but it was hard to flip back and forth between them (several other pictures between) so I figured this was good enough. I’m really happy with how it’s progressing, but to do more I’m going to have to decide how I want the end of that flowerbed to be done. I also need to go get more landscaping blocks to go along the fence since I only started with a single row and the wall I’m building with them is two-blocks tall. Hopefully I’ll do more on it this weekend (long weekend for the win), but I’ve got another couple projects I really need to get to that probably should come first.

As promised, a picture of the ferocious hunter and her catch:
Talore with prey
Admittedly she wouldn’t have eaten it (happened shortly after the picture, and boy did it crunch) without my help, but by the time she lost it in the grass it was maimed enough it couldn’t jump and was leaving a trail of goo. I didn’t see any reason to leave it to die and feed the ants, so I dug it out for her.

With how much Talore seems to crave the hunt she sure doesn’t prolong it. Most of the bugs she catches get eaten as soon as she’s managed to stun them so they don’t jump when she lets go with her paws. This one apparently was rather more resilient and led her on a merry chase around my yard in circles (I kept having to untangle the leash from the taller plants).

Shaved Dash

I took Dash in to the vet today for a dental cleaning and to get a lion cut for summer.

The teeth cleaning apparently went well, though Dash hasn’t been much inclined to let me see into his mouth. They had to pull an incisor that he’d fractured, but the only follow-up instruction for that was to dampen the dry cat food to soften it for him and even that was qualified by a warning that cats don’t really chew with their front teeth so he might not be interested. I tried that, but he apparently wasn’t hurting enough to care – he ate a few pieces of damp food then went right on to the dry food in the other bowl. Talore on the other hand seems to prefer the damp food. The general follow-up task I got is to give him twice-daily doses of an oral antibacterial solution. So far I’ve managed to give him a little over half of one dose and I have no idea how I’m going to pin him down to give him more. I suspect I’ll be wrapping him in a towel to hold him still.

The lion cut seems to be helping immensely in terms of him not being overheated. When I first brought him in he walked over to the air vent to lay down on it like usual, then decided that wasn’t comfortable any more. He’s been rather more active than he was before the hair cut, so I’m deeming it a success in terms of making him more comfortable for summer.

The issue now is that Talore is convinced I brought home a completely different cat and that he doesn’t belong here.
Lion Cut
This is the closest Talore has willingly gone to Dash, and that’s only because he was distracted by food so she could sneak up on him to sniff at him. I suspect he still smells like the vet, and I’m really hoping that once that smell wears off she’ll accept him again. For now she’s just growling when he gets close and swatting him if he ignores that, but since he’s comfortable around her (despite the opposite not currently being true) he’s walked right up and tried to rub on her several times. This picture was taken before Talore decided she liked the dampened cat food and started defending it…

Before and after pictures:
Before 1After 1

Before 2After 2

They also trimmed his claws, which isn’t something I’m at all used to. Now when I pick him up he can’t latch onto the carpet, and I can even hold him for more than a few seconds without him clawing his way free because his claws are so dull now I can ignore them (helpful when trying to medicate him). Since she’s being so hostile I trimmed Talore’s front claws too, though she didn’t want to sit still so I didn’t get them nearly as well blunted as the vet did for Dash.

Happy Cat

That is a picture of a happy cat. The heated cat bed I ordered last week came in today.

When I first unpacked it there was a foam pad between the heating element and the surface of the bed, which meant it took a while for heat to get to the surface. I couldn’t get Talore to sit there long enough to start getting warmth, so I took out that pad: now the bed is probably less soft but warms quickly. She clearly doesn’t mind it not being as soft. I’m wondering if she’ll even come sleep on my bed tonight like she usually does.