I’ve been writing about the predominance of feral cats around our house this winter. In seasons past, we’ve seen a “swamp kitty” or two roaming about, but this winter is exceptionally harsh and we have about 5 or 6 (depending on the orange one) “regulars” in the woods next to the house. The cats crawl under the fence and sun themselves in my yard.
Our house is the last house on a dead-end street. To the left is a wetland, and in the Spring we have geese. So the geography is “retention pond/wetland/woods” and then our yard. We actually have a large side yard that is not fenced in and the woods border up on our property.
I’m telling you all of this so that you know where Mom put the Feral Cat Sanctuary. We’ve all been worried (yes, even me) about the cats since it has been such bitterly cold weather. Paws2Smile (http://www.paws2smile.wordpress.com) had a great suggestion that we build some sort of feral cat house. Mom remembered that Erik had a large crate in the basement, and thought that would make a good sanctuary for the cats. She spoke to her friend Lisa, and Lisa (being a cat expert) told Mom not to put blankets in the crate because if the cats got wet, they could freeze to the blankets. Lisa told Mom to get clean hay that the cats could burrow in, instead. That sounded reasonable to Mom.
So, Mom enlisted Dad and Jamie to hunt down a bale of hay. She enlisted Erik to bring up the crate from the basement. I sniffed it curiously but slunk away at the sight of, well, a crate.
Erik brought up the crate and took the door off. Mom said she didn’t want someone who was cruel to animals to trap the cats inside and starve them. Then Mom cleaned the crate and sprayed it with disinfectant.
Mom wrote on the top of the crate in big letters so that no one would mess around with it:
Then Mom and Erik went outside and filled the crate with the fresh hay that Dad and Jamie had delivered on the doorstep (I watched from the dining room window):
Finally, since Mom had boots and Erik just had shoes, she dragged the crate to the spot that is in the woods, but still on our property. She added a tin full of dry cat food (with vitamins and minerals). This cat sanctuary is close enough to our fence that Mom can monitor it from the back door window:
Mom trekked through 10 inches of snow to put out the Feral Cat Sanctuary. She said she hopes that, with it being technically on our property, no one will dispose of it or vandalize it.
Now I can watch the kitties, too! And since they have a place of their own, they can stay out of MY yard. It’s a win-win situation!
Woof! Love, Maggie