Friday, December 10, 2010



As the song on the radio right this minute is saying, the weather outside is frightful… But then, it is not as bad as it was yesterday. We made it up to 47 today! That is still lower than it should be for this time of year. And next week, they say we will be in the teens at night. TEENS! WOW! We have had years when it barely went down into the 20s and then that happened only 4 or 5 times all winter. Anyway, all this is leading up to Spook and Punkin, my outside kitties. They HATE it in the house – believe me, we have tried it and there was no peace until they got back out, even in temps in the single digits. So… I do the next best thing. I make sure they have plenty of warm places to sleep, even a warm spot to eat. DSC_0791

Their warm nest last year worked out so well, I bought another one, since often Spook sleeps inside the nest and Punkin stands guard on the green house. They can and DO sleep in there together, but, for some reason, Punk often likes to be on the greenhouse. DSC_0794 DSC_0799

While I was at it, I did the cats AND myself a favor, I bought a heated water dish. Now you might ask yourself how is that a favor to me? It means I don’t have to go out and break the ice in the morning. That has become a major job these days as I am having a little trouble getting in and out of the house in the morning. I can get their food to them, sometimes just placing it on the greenhouse, but cracking the water out of the dish and refilling it in the bitter cold when I can barely walk, well, it is a bit hard. And last year, it often froze back solid in a few hours. Now before you call me a wimp, let me say, people with Lymes have a lot of trouble with cold temperatures. It quadruples the pain, and the morning pain is the worst, as many of you sadly know. DSC_0957

Also, I have been severely criticized by a neighbor or 2 for “not taking care of my cats” because they are outside in all that bad weather. Heated kitty beds are not cheap, but they are wonderful. See the grey double plug in the big yellow extension cord box? That is a thermostat that controls the bed in the area under it. If the temp drops below 40, the bed turns on. Also, note the wires wrapped around the cords. That is so an animal cannot bite thru or even into the wire. They think of everything, don’t they? DSC_0793

On the right, you can see half of a timer (dark green, semicircle), dusk/dawn or totally on or off, or by the number of hours – that controls the light in the greenhouse that keeps it at 45 or above. DSC_0795

The new kitty bed is in a clear plastic box so they can see everything at least until they get used to it. I guess it is their sunroom for now! The bed is currently on as I need to waterproof the area where the thermostat will plug in. The bungee cords will keep it from blowing in the winds we are supposed to get on Sunday (rain turning to snow.) I will level it out later. It just got too cold putting it all together today. DSC_0797  

Even the possum has a warm room. The back wall of her nest has a vented opening to the furnace room. The furnace is about 2 feet from where she sleeps. They did not have a sign that said Spoiled Rotten Possum Sleeps Here. Guess that is a good thing. DSC_0798 cathouseIn

Next project, a heated birdbath. Next year.


Ginnie said...

You put me to shame...doing all that for your creatures while you suffer from Lymes ... and I have no animals and complain about getting chilled a bit every winter.
My only defense is having five pigeons (which is what we call the AA newbies who use us to learn the ropes) and they really do take up a lot of time !
You deserve to baby yourself a bit and I hope you do that too.

ancient one said...

I know about the thingy to keep the water from freezing... my husband had to buy a new one this year for the goat's tub of water...the one he had been using conked out...I still saw him use the back of an axe on a water bucket for the dog this morning...It is really too cold for this time of the year for us.

Loretta said...

What a nice thing to do for your cats. I love that you spoil them!I've been a cat lover my whole life. My 16 year old cat passed away two weeks ago,I sure do miss him. I love dogs too, but cats are special to me.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Possum, you probably know that cats don't have owners, but in your case they certainly have a wonderful caring one - the heated water dish and warmed beds make being outdoors not so tough to take.

Rachel said...

You take great care of your cats! I try to do the same for mine. I have 2 of the SnuggleSafe heating pads that I use. I leave the garage door open just enough that the cats can get inside there if they want to, when it's real cold. Some of my cats don't like each other and refuse to sleep in the same areas. I fix beds under chairs on the porch and they are covered with many old throws, blankets, etc, and it's so nice and cozy in under there, and then they have the SnuggleSafes too, so they should stay nice and warm. Then I have some that are inside.

We have snow and it's blowing hard and very cold out there tonight. I like the warmer weather better!!

I'm sure your critters appreciate you very much!!

possum said...

Tues morning... it is 24 degrees out there, wind gusts over 45 mph. The boys are hunkered down in their toasty warm nest. I had visitors last night who stuck their hands in the box on the greenhouse, the clear plastic one where I feed them when it is bitter cold like today. They were surprised at how warm it was. The nest where they sleep, however, is insulated, walls and "ceiling" covered with rug samples, so, in spite of having a piece of heavy plastic for a door, it really is nice in there!
Thanks for checking in, Ann, I am trying to find that water warmer your husband uses for his goats to see if I can use it in the bird bath that the deer drink from. Amazon doesn't have a catagory for water heater thingie for goats!
Thanks for checking in, folks!