Thursday, March 16, 2017

A #Feline March Retreat from Snow--#Cats This Week by Karen Rose Smith

All winter I worried about what would happen with our outside feral cats in the event of a big snow storm. As we proceeded through a warm February with daffodils blooming and trees showing their new growth, I thought we had dodged the weather bullet this winter. Bonnie and Clyde spent most days in January and February roaming the yard and finding sunny spots to settle for an afternoon snooze. They came into the basement after their evening meal and spent their nights in the warmth of our basement. But each morning, they were ready to return to the big outdoor world that was their adventureland.

Then came the March snow storm. Weather forecasters were predicting twelve to twenty inches of drifting snow and frigid temperatures. It was time to place into action our winter contingency plans to keep Bonnie and Clyde safe and warm.

The first hurdle was to hope that the pair would show up for their evening meal on Monday so we could close the basement door. That part of the plan went well. But the question remained--how would they accept being closed in for the next two days?

Then overnight on Monday, the snow and wind began. We awoke on Tuesday morning to an outside world covered in white. Luckily the storm had tracked a bit closer to the coast than originally anticipated and because sleet had mixed in overnight, total accumulations were only about seven inches. But with the howling wind and continuing snow showers throughout the day, we knew it was not safe to open the door to let the cats out.

So Bonnie and Clyde remained in the basement. My husband and I took turns throughout the day spending time there with them. Sometimes, I worked on re-potting some of my newly sprouted petunia and tomato plants that are thriving on heat pads under grow lights.  Other times I sat with our feline guests (or captives, depending how we looked at it) with music playing on my i-phone. We played with laser lights and wands. They seemed engaged and entertained, tossing the area rugs to chase their "prey" or climbing the condo to follow the light. Each play session always ended in treats.

When we weren't in the basement, we left a radio playing softly on a country station on an old battery powered radio.  Clyde settled on his heat pad. To my surprise, Bonnie found an empty spot on the heat pad that warms my seedlings and took her nap there on the table.

Bonnie and Clyde spent two days in the basement.  This morning, after their morning feeding, we opened the door and offered the opportunity for them to explore their outside world that was now a frozen sheet of snow, iced on top.  The next question was--will they come back after being cooped up for so long? But a mid-morning check showed Bonnie sitting inside, looking through the cat door at Clyde who was exploring the snow-covered patio. Obviously they appreciate the warmth the basement has to offer...and hopefully the warm feelings we extended to them to keep them safe through a nasty late-winter storm. But through all the play times and other times we spent together the last few days, they still run at the slightest unexpected human movement and Bonnie still refuses to be touched or petted. Maybe we have made baby steps in building their trust and having them know that we are on their side. Hopefully the cold winter blast has fostered some warmth in their journey to once again accept at least two humans who care about their well-being and safety.  

Just a little safety reminder: When choosing a salt to sprinkle on your walks and and driveways, always choose a "pet safer" variety. I found this product at my local pet store.


Search For Love series, Book 9

The Search for Love romance series includes:

SEARCH FOR LOVE series website 


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 97th novel will be released in 2017.
Karen and Paddy

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. 

©2017 Karen Rose Smith

No comments: