Home projects - kitty castle and Backyard Harvest, plus CVAAS.

I've been busy lately... and this blog has definitely taken a backseat to my life. (Which is as it should be, right?)

Bluegill in the breeding tank!First up has been projects around my home. Fresno Backyard Harvest is still a going concern, even though the Argentine Ant made an appearance.  Winter is my time to rebuild and renew.  So I've been building the new fishery, picked up some Bluegill, and putting together the grow beds and adding plumbing.

Soon I'll be turning over the raised garden beds, and adding compost.  I've got lots of compost!

But during this time, I noticed that it got cold.  This is somewhat of a worry to me, because our cats also get cold, and they still insist on staying outside.

Miso on the porch chair

Here's our cat, "Miso", sleeping on the chair on the front porch.  Miso is a very special kitty because he has feline Lymphoma.  Last year the vet said he wouldn't survive longer than 3 months, and that he would soon show signs of crashing.  But Miso didn't listen, and is still as active as ever - contrary to his photo here!

But we have 3 cats now.  Miso, who is mostly Wendy's cat, but who tolerates me fairly well.  Pico, who is mostly my cat, but who will consent to be fed by Wendy, and Penny... who is a flighty ding-bat that loooooves EVERYone!  When she's not running away from them in fear!

All of our cats sleep in the chairs on our front porch, and they tend to curl up to conserve heat.  Sometimes they look for someplace less drafty to sleep, which could be anywhere but inside.  They don't always hang out inside.

Outside of kitty castleSo, I started another project... of course.  I'm almost finished with it now.  It is an insulated kitty castle.

The "castle" is actually a "3-story apartment complex".  Each entrance hole leads to it's own room, one per cat.  Which is useful because Miso and Pico are somewhat aloof from each other.

Here you can see the outside.  I used inexpensive OSB for the carcass, with the shiny side out.

Inside, I covered the interior with 1 inch rigid foam insulation, and then carpeted the interior with cheap carpeting from a used carpeting retailer, which both makes the interior more cat comfortable, but also keeps them from sharpening their claws on the rigid foam insulation!

The interior is carpeted, and looks very comfortable!Some of the carpet goes through the entrance holes, and will be hidden by port hole frames when I'm done.  The whole thing will be painted white... I'm not sure what trim paint I'll use.

I'll also add some legs to keep the whole thing a little off the cement on the front porch.

This is the second cat castle I've made.  The first was Cisco's home in my old apartment.  When Cisco died, I threw it away.  It was too painful to see.


CVAAS has been doing very well this year.  We've been pretty busy, what with the booth at the Fresno Pride festival and the Heretic's Barbecue with guest speaker Brian Dunning.  We've had several very successful get togethers, and Skeptically Drinking is always well attended!  And we've formed a media committee.  (Sign up here for notification of CVAAS events)

I can't stress enough just how proud I am of the members of CVAAS.  Volunteers are stepping forward and pitching in where it's needed, and everyone has a great time doing it.

Future events will include support for Camp Quest, another Trilobite hunt, more work with the homeless in Fresno, and maybe, finally, our non-profit status.

Personally, I've again volunteered to be a counselor at Camp Quest West next year.  (Note to self - comfy shoes are very important!  I was surprised at how much walking I had to do at camp!)

If you are interested in joining the local skeptic / atheist community, you don't have to be stuck with CVAAS.  There are also the Humanists of San Joaquin Valley, the Skeptics Without a Cause, or CSU Fresno SSA.  And that's just in Fresno - there are other groups that have formed up and down the San Joaquin Valley.


So, yea, it's been a busy time for me.  No wonder this blog gets ignored.

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