When the weather outside is frightful and we have to venture out and brave the elements, we have our favorite ways to dress to keep us warm. Whether we don fur-lined boots, utilize knit caps, earmuffs and scarfs or layer our garments, we do manage to stay warm, despite complaining about much we hate winter and long for the warm sun-filled days of summer. I can't help but marvel at how our outside feline visitors brave the cold, find warmth when they need it and then trot off to go about their everyday lives. They are a lesson in survival and truly help us to appreciate the warmth of our homes that we so often take for granted. During the recent cold snap, Sunnybud, our outside daily visitor, is usually waiting for me in the sun room every morning, sometimes in his heated bed, other times on his favorite towel. My husband purchased a trail camera for me for Christmas and we have been monitoring the nighttime activities on our patio and in the sun room so we can better understand Sunny's and all other outside visitors' visiting schedules (more on that next week).
Even though they no longer have to brave the elements, our inside cats also search out extra warmth in the house on these cold winter days.
Halo loves a warm fleece blanket with a heat pack under it. She snuggles in and falls into a deep sleep, obviously cherishing her inside accommodations while probably remembering her days of survival as a stray.
Zoie Joy loves to sit in the sunshine to catch a few rays of warmth through a nearby window. As soon as the sun sets, she heads off for her favorite chair or next to my pillow on the bed.
Zoie and Halo have become more accepting of each other and many days both of them share the warmth of the bed. And, on occasion, Paddington also joins her mother and "sister" for a long afternoon snooze.
Paddington seems to like the heat from our central heating system. She particularly enjoys the towel rack next to the bathroom heating vent, as well as her favorite shelf on her kitten condo. It took me a while to figure that out the condo, even though it seems too small for her now, is located next to the heating vent in my office!
And London...well she alternates between an upstairs bed and her heated bed near an upstairs window. Her older bones seem to enjoy the warmth that the two provide.
Sunnybud seems perfectly content with our daily get-togethers in the sun room. He loves being hugged and cuddled on frigid mornings and getting a massage after his meals. Then after all the snuggling, he settles in his bread loaf position, signaling that it is time for me to leave or he takes leave on his own volition as if to say, "Enough cuddling is enough cuddling!"
Halo also enjoys the warmth of an occasional sunbath, seeming to appreciate that she is feeling better after all her recent health issues. Or is she just waiting patiently for a tasty dish of Fancy Feast? The meow tells it all!
If you'd like more information about cat shelters and saving their lives in winter, click HERE to go to my blog on the topic.
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 91st novel will be released in 2016.
Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.
Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below.