Episode-1619- Listener Calls for 8-6-15 — 24 Comments

  1. Great t hear you mention kratom in a good light. It has literally saved my life and the benefits of this herb are beyond what I used it for in the beginning. Enjoy the link I provided you with for more articles on what kratom can do, maybe it can help your wife.

  2. Hi Jack! Thanks for the update about the ducks. Since their forage is not so abundant right now, are you having trouble with them destroying any of your perennials? My ducks love comfrey, holly hocks, Egyptian walking onions, and much more. I have been putting wire cages around a lot of plants because they were killing some of them! Do you ever have to limit the places that you allow them to forage? Do you have to fence them out of certain areas? Thanks!

  3. I was just walking through Home Depot and right on one of the end caps was a bunch of Aussie Walk-A-Bout Grills for $39.97

    • I need to swing by they must be in clearance for fall! You can always use one of these as a back up if nothing else.

  4. Great “Barn Cat” analysis, Jack.

    Rodent “trophies” are regularly laid out by our current five feral, but fixed cats where I will witness their hunting prowess.

    The birds are protected from the cats by having the bird bath surrounded by densely-packed rough conch shells with their “spines” pointed upwards, making it difficult for the cats to lay in ambush and harder to make their way quickly through the conch shells.

    The cats are kept close to the 1/3 acre property with special canned food and other treats provided at random times and as a result, come when called.

    They have additional security from any marauding dogs, etc. by being able to come in the house-surrounding 5’ high stock wire fence where they would be protected by the property dogs. Years ago it was not getting the cats to be dog friendly, but it was training the certified (witnessed) cat-killing dogs to accept cats. Thanks to Cesar “dog whisperer” Milan, that is no longer a problem and the dogs and cats get along fine.

    “Bad Ass” cats, I have found can even be rehabilitated with “tough love” enforced with a normally “holstered” spray water bottle set on “stream”. As fundamentally a dog lover, I am amazed to find after working with any cat they come to learn the meaning of the word “no.”

    While they all are outside cats, some are allowed inside, for a few hours some days and are perfectly behaved, with no cat boxes available, finding some comfortable place or lap to lie. This includes the best “barn cats” on the property – some “PUSSYS” they are!?!?!?

  5. Jack,
    Another option for rodent control is seeing if there are any feral cats close by and attracting them to your property. Shortly after I moved into my house, I noticed a serious rodent problem. Since there were already feral cats wandering the area, I made my backyard a little more conducive to them. Then, I caught them and had them fixed. This is called trap-neuter-release. It both controls the feral cat population and controlled my rodent problem. The only problem is that they are not as friendly as what some people would like. But, they will come running up almost to within reach of me when I go outside or come home.
    There’s nothing like watching a cat sneak up behind a squirrel and dope slap him from behind.

    • Tim, Jack,

      That is sort of the way our cat colony started out here almost 16 years ago, except the first two cats, one of which is still present, were rescued from the National Park’s removal or exterminate program of non-native cats and mongoose. Once they were here, other local feral cats wandered in.

      I trapped non-fixed (fixed ones have the tip of their left ear clipped) or unhealthy looking ones.

      I have bagged them any number of ways. While a blowgun with a tranquilizer dart will work, they can run far and hide before the tranquilizer will take effect, so I do not recommend it.

      A Have-A-Heart live trap will work, however if there a number of cats around, you run the risk of not trapping the one you want. I have gotten around that happening by remotely springing the trap with strong string with me sitting in wait close enough that a water stream from a quality spray bottle will keep non-targeted cats away from the trap.

      Over the years I have built and modified two of what I call “cataterias” which are multi-function cat feeding stations/chicken excluders/with ant-excluding moats under bowl-holding “dining tables.”

      The last modification of the multi-function “cataterias” was to make them also function as traps with a “back door” that the Have-A-Heart connects to for transporting the cats to the vet. I got the idea from going to the circus as a kid when Ringling Brothers Circus was actually under a tent and they transferred the lions and tigers into and out of the big center ring performance cage by attaching smaller cart cages to the big cage and opened sliding gates between the two.

      One of the “cataterias” has small cat silhouettes stencilled on part of its 2 X 2 frame to indicate each trapped totally – somewhere over 10.

      All the cats have varied regarding friendliness and skittishness, I believe due to their past experience. One very unfriendly cat to me and all the other cats I named Phantom for his black and white face a la Phantom of the Opera. Yet, he showed a need for affection, meowing plaintively and rubbing up against me – but then the next minute slashing at my pants leg. Over some three years of tough love he steadily changed to where he was good with the other cats and I could pick him up, examine him etc.

      • One of the things I was concerned about, strictly from a permaculture perspective, is the waste problem. I know you cannot compost cat & dog poop as you would ruminant manure, but is there a safe way to compost cat poop outside of normal composting methods?

        For instance, clean the cat litter box, place the waste in a totally separate bin from everything else, and let sit for ultra long-term? Has anyone come up with a clever way to dispose of the cat waste?

        • While the cats make their own “compost heaps,” I compost dog poo with carbon material in separate piles along with rain gutter accumulations and pond dredgings for over a year and just use it on ornamentals. The ornamentals do very well.

        • If nothing else, it creates additional organics in our voltanic rocky island.

  6. I relayed this story to Nick Fergueson while working with him earlier this summer. I have a good friend who grows various plants in the south of St Louis city in an urban environment. Wine grapes and hops are the primary crops but there are also a few fruit trees, peach, apple and specific to this story a wonderful cherry tree. We are not certain the species of cherry but it blooms early and is delicious attracting many squirrels and birds. The birds were a menace to both the grapes and especially the cherries. In my estimation, by accident and out of good nature, he and his wife decided to feed one of the many stray neighborhood cats that had come through the alley. By doing so a wonderful thing occurred. The cat and his friends kept coming back as cats will do. Through observation we realized not only were the cats eating the food left out for them but they were also claiming territory and cleaning house! In one season the problems caused by birds and squirrels was reduced and the second season eliminated. Most urban environments have no shortage of strays. I highly recommend if you are in a similar environment that you take advantage of the resources it provides. Just a small amount of cat food to keep them coming round may get your property on the “circuit” and some pest reduction with luck. Just a tip I’ve seen work and am employing in an urban test garden we’ve built.

  7. Great show as usual and i really liked the powerful finnish with “Way out here”. You really hit the nail on the head with that one. 🙂

    Best wishes from Sweden <3

  8. One of the top 10 moments I’ve ever heard on TSP…

    Jack’s teenage/middle age cat impersonation.

  9. “California has such an amazing climate… If you just got rid of most of the people and all of the government, it’d be a great place.”

    Well, I don’t know about most of the people… but A LOT of them for sure! And certainly ALL of the Government! LOL

    • Don’t most of the people live in LA, San Diego and San Francisco and their surrounding metro areas? Think about that!

    • There’s good people that live in those places… some by choice, most strictly because of work opportunities. There’s also a lot of methers all over California rural, suburban, and urban. Bangers in the inner city mostly. And of course, there’s the control freaks that just NEED the HOA to tell their neighbor which color welcome mat they put on their front porch.
      I’d be perfectly happy with the methers, bangers, and control freaks getting set to one side, and leave the rest of us the hell alone.
      That’s not ideal, but it sure as hell is better than what we have now.

  10. Regarding Kratom: while Morphine and Heroin are big problems, prescription pain pills such as oxycontin, hydrocodone, Vicodin and Percocet can be more addicting and are “pushed” by doctors. When these become unavailable, Heroin is often cheaper.
    From what I have read, Kratom can also replace prescription painpills and can certainly help a person end an addiction.
    “Who benefits” from banning or restricting Kratom?

  11. Please don’t feed a cat only tuna. Tuna doesn’t contain enough taurine. Include some heart.

    Also, feral cats make awesome barn cats and a feral cat rescue group would be happy to re-home to a barn.