The cavalry has arrived! Meet Fletch:
Fletch is (approximately) a six-year old male cat that we adopted. He was a stray who was taken in by a nice lady, but she is too sick to care for her cats now. He has an "inappropriate urination" issue, so Fletch is a barn cat. Apparently he's already killed two chipmunks last month alone, so we have high hopes for his hunting skills to dispatch with our crop-destroying squirrel, groundhog, and chipmunk population.
Because we don't have a barn, our barn cat is actually a workshop cat:
Fletch is in a cage borrowed from the Merrimac River Feline Rescue Society, which helped us set up this private adoption before he ever even ended up in the shelter. They have been super-helpful and will place semi-feral and other cats already acclimated to living outdoors as barn cats. He will be in the cage for about a week or two to learn that this is his new home. After that, we will let him have the run of the workshop for another two weeks. By then he will have figured out that we are the ones who feed him and return to the workshop each night for supper and shelter.
So by Labor Day we'll put in a cat door so he can come and go, and hopefully he'll make short work of our peach-eating, apricot-destroying, corn-stealing squirrels. It will be too late for the corn by then, but we have high hopes for the future.
In the meantime, he is a very sweet guy. He loves being petted and tolerates being picked up, which is pretty good for the first hour of living here. Even Jonas kind of likes him. So far.