It’s absolutely freezing out there: –14C with a wind-chill of –28C with blowing snow. It’s weather in which any warm-blooded creature must fight to stay alive – and cats are not made for this weather. And yet they are out there… trying desperately to simply stay alive.
If you know of any strays or ferals, please try to offer protected shelter. The shelter I bought last year for Oscar last year was an insulated plastic tote box with entrance and straw inside. (Use straw – it is a good insulator, and doesn’t get damp and frozen like cloth, blankets, or hay.) If you can put the shelter off the freezing ground (on bricks? Or on the deck like I did), weigh it down against the storm (brick or two on top?), and keep the entrance out of the snow, you will be an angel for those in need. Put out warm water in a ceramic or heated bowl (stays liquid longer) and put out food in a dry, protected area.
Last year I was so weighed down with worry about Oscar in weather like this. And I had reason to worry, since he got frostbite on both his back paws and his ears last winter. I wanted so much to try to save his life by taking him in.
Yesterday I read a story of a kitty that froze to death in this weather. It was heartbreaking and I can’t get it out of my mind. I won’t tell you the details and make you cry. I will tell you that it happens far more than people think. Perhaps I am too sensitive, but I shed tears for each one.
The good people making the feral/stray shelter I bought for Oscar: http://torontostreetcats.com/shelterbuilding/107-2/
Since they are very re-usable, Oscar’s old shelter is now donated to a small rescue group in Durham … they are using it to provide cover for a little lost cat in a ravine.
Or make your own: