Today was something of a sobering day here. Last summer, in the span of about a week, we lost 3 cats. Can’t really say what happened, the first was a stray that we figured moved on. Then our black cat just stopped coming around (an indoor kitty that suddenly decided to experience the great outdoors), then my gray kitten went missing. I figured something was killing them, and began researching game cameras.

I noticed back in December that we have a black cat living under the house, my husband insists this is our wayward indoor kitty. I remain skeptical, mainly because our indoor kitty was very friendly. (We also have a yellow Tom that comes about but that’s another story. He’s definitely a stray but is very welcome to eat all the mice he wants).

The mystery of my grey kitten was solved when we came upon her body in some pallets. I’m not sure why she died, but the best we could do was bury her. It was in a high traffic area, right next to the horse stable, and is weird to think she was there all along.

Because I only sleep about 4 hours a night, it leaves me with plenty of time to dwell on these mysteries as well as learn new skills I can put to use on the farm, from how to build a wind turbine to gardening tips. I spend a lot of time thinking about wind turbines, but I’ve noticed that part of the issue is the ones in our budget don’t produce too much wattage. I’m still trying to sort it all out. One of my goals is to make us as self reliant as possible. To get our bills as close to zero as possible.

This includes generating our own heat, electric, etc. I’ve decided to start with the barn, as it consumes less and needs less, and apply those lessons learned to the house. Not being electrically inclined, there’s kind of a steep learning curve. The good news is I think my husband might finally be getting on board. He’s finally getting that the more we produce, the less we need to worry about paying someone else. That’s the thing about homesteading though. To become more of a producer than a consumer takes time. It feels agonizingly slow to me, but it’s never a fast process. Nor do you want it to be. The last thing you want to do is make a mistake and waste time and effort fixing what was not well planned.


Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category.  Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.

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