This last month has been a difficult one, but everything seems to be looking up right now. Blue had her surgery, turns out she has/had a slow growing kind of cancer, a kind that can return at any time but should be comparatively easy to manage. I intend to take her to visit her vet often, since it was Dr. Lisa Lemke petting Blue that found the lump. It took a long time to decide to do the surgery because Blue was lactating and bleeding. I won't go any further into this, but it did confuse veterinarians at several vet schools.
I went away for a week and a good friend took care of the animals at the farm. That means that Blue and George and Patches had to return home. They returned home and apparently worked with Gibby to provide easy in and out to the dog pen, and Gibby has been a house dog ever since. I don't know if he stays in the house overnight or just goes in to romp around, but it's a good thing I had already decided that the couches and chairs all need to be replaced when I return home - they are completely soaked with mud. It's not as terrible as it would seem, there's not a stuffed chair or couch under thirty years old and not one that was in decent shape before Gibby moved in. At least, Gibby isn't a chewer and hasn't damaged any of the wooden furniture, which I do treasure.
The last few days, there are indications that Gibby has gone kind of wild. He has knocked boxes off of piles, cleared stuff off of tables, and generally made a huge mess. It looks like he was either looking for something or chasing a mouse through the house. I hope he hasn't taken his destructiveness upstairs - I haven't gone up to see. I put hooks on the outside doors yesterday, but they weren't effective - the eyes they were hooked into were gone today.
About a half dozen cats are gone. Little Gray is one of them, just disappeared. I found two dead on the porch. I think it might be coyotes, but can't figure out why they would kill and leave their prey behind. I enclosed the cat porch with heavy gauge plastic to give them a warmer place out of the wind, I hope I haven't created a trap they can't escape.
Winter has arrived too soon - frozen water buckets, frozen hose in the barn, chicken yard tarp weighed down with ice, etc. Despite knowing that winter always comes, I'm never really ready for it, and never expect it before Thanksgiving. I guess my biggest cold weather concern is water - have to get the heater set up in the barn trough, have to set up heated bowls for the cats and Rusty - so Rusty has water when I figure out how to keep him out of the house, where he's been using the automatic fountain in the bath room.