It's been so hot and dry out and this damn drought is never ending that the poor animals are having a tough time.
I started putting a bowl of water out for my cats, but the neighborhood cats started coming around so now it's out all the time, and then I put out a saucer of water for the birds (cats in the back yard, birds in the front). Then I started thinking that they needed a bigger water dish (to account for evaporation), so I started looking for a big plastic saucer (like the type you put under flower pots). In the meantime I found a toad living in my garden (probably on account of the fact that it is the only area that reliably gets water), so I started leaving a saucer of water in the garden. Shortly after that i found the tiny baby anole living on my Thai Pepper plant so I now pour water in a yogurt lid that I have on the dirt in the pot so the little guy has access to water. I finally found a large saucer for the birds in the front and I moved the smaller saucer to the back yard in the shade garden as the anoles tend to like to live in that area.
A few weeks ago, the husband and I went to Lowe's to buy some paint and drywall compound. I got sidetracked by the wild bird section and debated on buying a feeder and food. Just this last weekend, after watching a jay family in my yard obviously looking for food, I finally "broke" (at least that's what we'll tell the husband) down and bought a feeder. Since I know all the animals are hurting (except for the wasps and ants in our yard) so I bought just a flat hanging plate and a 17-pound bag of black oil sunflower. Thus far I haven't seen any birds (or other animals) at the feeder, but something's eating all the seeds...or dumping them out at least.
Update: I wrote this a few days ago and since then I have actually bothered to put out the seed and sit at the window and watch. I had the jay family, a cardinal and about 4 doves visit the feeder while some type of nuthatch/chickadee visited the water saucer.