Well, I just found out why my barn kittens have been up on my porch every morning for the past week, instead of out in the barn where they had previously been quite content at night. And what the dogs have been rushing after in the overgrown pasture at night. Feral cats! Oh blast it! They were having an orgy/gang war down by by barn tonight. I heard the caterwauling in my sleep, woke up, and perceived "That is NOT our two four-month-old kittens." Nor was it our elderly troll cat's senile rantings from under the basement stairs (his choice to live there, BTW -- we did not banish our teenage cat to the basement, he just got weird). Opened the front door and our kittens rushed in, terrified. As well they might -- they are still snack-sized for a big tomcat. Moe, our canine Director of Homeland Security, ran the intruders through the pasture and apparently up the tree at the end of the lane. I could still hear feline growling and snarling, but he wasn't tangling with anything, and came back looking unfulfilled. We checked on the chooks, all snug in their coop. The kittens have been invaluable in showing me any security gaps in the coop construction (it's a converted stall in the barn.) I think a full-sized cat could still get into the barn proper, though -- possibly they've been going in and stealing the kittens' food at night. Kittens are now locked in protective custody on the mud porch with a litter box for the night. Time to install a dog door. Ferals won't come around for long if our Gang of Four can just let themselves out when needed. Anything else work to repel feral cats? FYI, I won't shoot at night, won't shoot at anything I cannot clearly see and identify, so that option isn't really on the table.