within the first 48 hours of our attempted feral-cat-rehoming, our barn cats dug out of the barn. it had not occured to any of us that cats would excavate a tunnel under the walls, through the dirt floor of the barn, to let themselves out. the tunnel admits them to the turkey coop, from which they must have found some sort of egress. alas, barncats. at least one and potentially all three of them are therefore completely gone.

but, the rehoming-cats person reccomended that we put out some suitably smelly wet cat-food (“fresh ocean fish flavor,” it says) to attempt to lure them back in. we did so, on the inside of the barn, near the tunnel they dug, and the food was all eaten yesterday. i am pretty sure that even if mice do eat wet cat food (in an environment rich with grain, mind you, in the form of the feed bags the mice are enacting their depradations upon), they don’t clean the tin. it looks quite distinctly like the work of a cat.

this seems promising. even if it’s one of Mr. Hill’s semi-feral cats, or Gherardi’s grey cat, who is tame but shy, and wouldn’t let me near her when I surprised her in the barn once. any cat that will eat some mice is entirely welcome in that barn! whether they are coming back in through that tunnel, or whether one of them never left the barn in the first place, but simply hid in one of the innumerable hiding spots through the lively weekend, i hope they stay and eat lots of mice. and get used to us and calm down a little, but perhaps that’s asking too much. i’ll settle for a barn cat that is actually there, even if she never lets me within 10 feet of herself.

meanwhile, we put out glue traps on saturday, which was also a day we let all the poultry free-range. which meant the first thing we caught was, naturally, a hen. we got her loose again. application of canola oil to a glue trap will enable you to release whatever is stuck. she was annoyed but fine.