Monday, February 3, 2014

Stray and Feral #Cats in #Winter by Karen Rose Smith

Snow and ice and cold. We've had a hard winter in Pennsylvania and so have the stray and feral cats.  I can only imagine how cold and snowy the weather has been in the other parts of the country.  Today's snow and ice is supposed to bring us 5-8 more inches.  We have three inside rescued cats and this season we have 4 or 5 stray and/or feral cats who use our outside feeders...and maybe the shelters. Two of them have heat pads.

This year our temperatures were so low that within a half hour after putting food in the feeder, it was frozen!  So we had to check it often.  It was mid-winter until we discovered that putting food just inside the Igloo shelter didn't freeze.

We put out dry food so there is always something there for our visitors to eat.  That's easy to refill.  We put out wet food first thing in the morning.  This morning, in spite of the snow, one of the kitties came to eat out of the igloo.  It was gone.  Half of the food in the plain feeder was gone.  We refill three times a day.  More than ever this time of year is when stray and feral cats need food and shelter.  On the patio near the food, we also have a heated water bowl.  It's hard for them to find water this time of year with water sources frozen. Along the patio we also have a few solar lights so that at night, they are a beacon near the shelters.

When you care for stray and feral cats, you have to detach a little or you'll worry every night when the temperature drops or anytime they don't appear for a few days.  But that's the nature of caring for them.  I'm so looking forward to warmer temps and spring when I spend time on the patio gardening and writing. Maybe then, I can gain a little trust.  Maybe then, they'll eat even when my husband and I are around.  Love given in the form of food, shelter and water is always a good thing.  I believe in karma.  I might need love, food, water and shelter...and most of all kindness in the years to come. 

©2014 Karen Rose Smith


Jacqueline Hopper said...

love your updates on the cats. Thank you so much for all you do for these sweet babies. Would you consider posting a How-To to make shelters for feral cats?

KRS said...

Here is a blog I wrote about building and buying shelters. I hope it helps. Thanks for asking.