Friday, April 2, 2010


This will be my last post for a while as my computer has quit limping and is nearly stopped. I had pictures for today but could not transfer them from my camera. Enough is enough. Be back when my computer guy has worked his magic. Maybe I can keep up via the library.

Two creatures have been my undoing this week. All my years in rescue mean NADA (nothing). No good deed goes unpunished or so they say. Any way, last year I wrote about the lovely dose of bird mites I may or may not have gotten in my house. Actual cause of itching was never found and went away. Maybe it was chiggers but I was taking no chances this year.

In the fall I hired a team of young men to clean out all old nests and to block off any entrance to my house. I forgot that a Phoebe only needs a two inch projection to build a nest on. I saw the beginnings of the mud castle on the side of my house that the mated pair were building. I immediately went on the attack. With a hoe, broom and mop, I would remove the traces of a nest several times a day. I even nailed a 2x4 into the space leaving them no room. They just moved to the next set of rafters.

This went on for a week and just as stubborn as I was to remove the beginnings of the nest, they were more stubborn in rebuilding on top of the ruins. They were not going elsewhere even though I have three outbuildings that are perfect. Finally being afraid she might start popping eggs out with no place to put them, I let them win. I'm such a wuss. Little bird brains whipped me.

Very quickly they finished the dandy mud and moss castle and there is nothing I can do this nesting season. At least this year the nest is on the other side of the house , away from my bedroom. Toes are crossed. Next year, I will be ready. All spaces between joists will be blocked and I will build Phoebe houses on the out buildings for the little beasts.

Then today, it was so pretty that I decided to wash my little vehicle. Did not notice at the car wash but when I got home and after closing the gate, I noticed a horrible series of scratches on my hood. I mean a lot. There had been a wild animal jamboree on my hood. I wash it every week so this was new. I should have taken pictures but I was too dismayed. My tiny truck is a 2003 but I have always kept her garaged and properly waxed. I was quite proud of her finish and often amazed people when they learned how old she was. She passes the 20 foot test better than I do though we both improve from 20 feet away.

My neighbor has an outdoor cat. I have never seen her on the hood though I always have had to bang on the hood to make sure she is not in the engine area before starting up. Peaches taught me that.

I think my neighbor's cat is the animal of interest in this case. Now this is where I need your help. Right now, I have a table cloth over the hood. Have you ever had to deal with a cat leaving scratches on your car and how did you humanely deal with it? I was able to buff most of the scratches out but really, really want to prevent future episodes. Any ideas?

Checked the hood this morning and I see where the cat likes the table cloth and spent the night quite comfortably. I really don't like having to cover my vehicle every time I leave it so if you know of any tried and true humane repellents, would appreciate it.


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  2. Thank you all so very much for stopping by with good advice or at least commiseration.
    What I settled on with the cat was buying a cheap rug the exact size of my hood. I placed it nap side down and sticky side up and held in place with clamps. That seems to have done the trick.
    Only problem is that I forget it is there and often am outside the car port before I remember I have a rug on my truck. So far I haven't gone down the road like that.
    Thank you again for all your comments and caring.
    Sad note about the Phoebe. After I left them alone to build the nest, the completed nest was stolen from them by some lazy House Finches. Don't know where they ended up. Not a good year for the poor babies.
    I will try to catch up with you all now. Thanks again for your patience.

    April 16, 2010 6:46 AM