The Michigan Department of Agriculture moves quickly for a bureaucracy. I called this morning and reached a very nice woman who said she usually didn't answer the phones. She was surprised she couldn't get anyone else to answer their phone and I thought it was going to be like calling any other bureaucracy - when she said she'd have someone call me, I figured I'd either never hear from anyone or I'd get a call weeks from now. Not so. The first man called me within a few hours and explained he was trying to reach the regional representative near my farm. The regional rep called me a couple hours later, and he's going to meet me tomorrow morning. It's a good thing I have a whole bag of the Kroger cat food that I haven't opened, he said they can only test bags that haven't been opened. I'm going to give him the opened bag and the empty bag, too.
The other good news is there were no dead and no sick cats today. I'm more convinced than ever that the poison was in the food - I only wish I had caught on sooner. I counted fifteen cats today - the year old orange cat with the friendly face was back. I haven't seen him for a week or more. There was also one cat caught in the pool room - the long-hair black yearling who looks like Sooters. I can't figure out how he got into the pool room. I had to pry weeds and vines away to get the door open, and then, of course, he wouldn't come out when I called. I had to leave the door open and hope he would come out on his own. I tried to watch from around the corner but all I saw were more cats going in. I played a little with Gibby and then climbed up the broken steps to look in the pool room - while I was looking I heard a little mew, looked down and the little Sooters was sitting outside, just under the ledge below the poolroom floor. How sweet of him to let me know he was outside - he even sounded like my old Sooters (Sooters was my much loved house cat, killed by a friend's pack of dogs eleven years ago.)
I tried unsuccessfully once again to lock Gibby out of the house. I stopped at the hardware store to buy a plane to plane off part of the door so I could get it closed tight again. The girl at the hardware store talked me into another tool, a plastic handle with a sort of rough file fitted into it. It was a stupid choice, not strong enough to deal with the hard wood of the door. I filed down part of the softer wood of the doorframe and was able to get the door halfway shut, but not far enough to be able to engage the dead bolt. I whammed on it from the inside with an old hammer and wedged it in further, but I bet Gibby will have it open in a flash. I'll have to go back to the hardware tomorrow and buy a plane - or, if I have any sense, I'll go to my own store and get one of my antique planes - I bet I could get rid of half a door with one of those in half of the time I wasted today. If I remember correctly, I have eight or ten antique planes.