January 6th, 2005, 11:42 AM
I have been racking my brain for an inexpensive way to build a small shelter for the Momma and Poppa strays that I feed here, and was having a heck of a time. Then, yesturday I was roaming through Zellers and saw that they had the large Rubbermaid containers on sale. And the idea came to me... I have heard so many times that paper and cardboard are great inexpensive 'insullation', so why not use the Rubbermaid container (that has the convenient lid for me that I can open easily to fill food bowls) and line it with cardboard to keep it a bit warmer! :thumbs up
And TEE-DAW, an hour later I had my little masterpiece. I cut a cat size door in the back, leaving it attached at the top, bent it up and used a lighter to heat the plastic so that now it stays up like a little kitty porch, then I lined the inside with cardboard, put one of my winter 'dirt pots' (formerly summer flower pots) on top to hold the lid down, and may put in one of those purr pads too.
I just put the food out a while ago, and Momma and Poppa haven't been around yet (no doubt staying out of the sleet and snow :yuck: ) but I see that at least one of them thoroughly checked out the new digs and finished the food from last night! There were paw prints all over it in the snow. And an added bonus is that the Grackos (annoying little black birds that loooooove to pig out on cat food) haven't figured out how to get in. I'm hoping to keep it that way so have been distracting them as well, throwing some cat food on the ground away from the container.
So this mornin, my porch was quite busy... with all the birds and squirells, and hopefully the strays soon as I put out some wet food as a treat to welcome them to their new little restaurant! :rolleyes: Oh and you should see the pile of drool at my door...LOL... my four are glued to the door watching the yummy birdy & squirell show!!! :love:
January 6th, 2005, 12:07 PM
Great idea and hopefully it will save them from the awful freezing temps outside at night especially. On the really cold nights you could put hot shots under the purr pad. We use these things for hands and feet when we shoot outside. They are little packets that when you bend they release heat.
January 6th, 2005, 12:14 PM
Rubermaid does rock. That is a cool idea!
I actually went to Crappy Tire (Canadian Tire) last night and found out rubbermaid makes a three pack of "recycling bags". They are flexible bags made of tarp material, that are square, and have handles. There is a green one, blue one, and silver one, one for each type of recyclable. The the best part, they velcro together!! Our recycling is on the first floor and we are on the 10th, and carrying the recycling boxes down is time consuming, as is putting all the stuff in plastic bags to carry down.
Now when one is full, I just grab it, carry it down, empty it, and reattach it to the rest!!
January 6th, 2005, 05:53 PM
Good job, krdahmer!
My outdoor adoptees have a wooden kitty condo on the porch, piled full with old blankets and padding. I was worried about them in December when we had some extreme cold for Nprth Carolina. I found something really neat at Petsmart, called Snuggle Safe. You heat it in the microwave and it stays warm for up to 12 hours (mine don't stay "real" warm that entire time) and the boys love them. They are hard plastic, so I put them under one of the blankets. (19.99).
Now I feel a bit better knowing they are warmer. :)
January 6th, 2005, 06:28 PM
krdahmer, you and I must have had an intercontinental mind meld yesterday!! :thumbs up
I recently moved to a neighborhood with a lot of ferals....and I also want to feed them. However I don't want them on my porch (it's small, not really sheltered, & the dogs would go insane in here if there were strays milling around out there all night.) I can't put food in my fenced back yard or porch, because my dogs will a: eat the food and b: eat the cats!
There's an empty lot next to my house though, and a space between my wood fence and an empty house behind mine. I've been putting out kibble for them by the fence, but it keeps snowing....I really wanted someplace dry & safe for the food.
Anyhow I had exactly the same idea - large Rubbermaid storage bins with little doorways cut into the side!
But you are a genius for figuring out the little porch idea.....thank you thank you! :) :) I'm going to do this on Saturday.
I am also talking to someone about TNR (trap-neuter-release) for the ferals in this 'hood. If you want more info on that, check here:
I did this when I lived in another city, we got 11 cats. :)
January 6th, 2005, 11:59 PM
Thanks, that site is good. I am hoping to take in the two that I feed here in the spring and do their shots/neutering on my own(take them to my vet I mean and pay for it). I did get approval from a local organization that would pay for it, but also am aware that they are already having trouble catching up with their bills. And as for the cold, Momma and Poppa have a place, I'm sure of it, where they are sheltered at night, there are two seemingly abandoned sheds in the backyards our apartment faces. And I often see them coming over the fence from the larger shed. They seemed to do well last winter, and I know that they stick together... he even comes to check out the eating situation then comes back with her in tow later. That's why I didn't take them in before winter, I only have space to take in one at a time and knew that there was no time to do that twice before the cold cold weather got here. This way at least they have each other to snuggle and keep warm and first sign of warmer weather, I'm gonna get Momma in so she doesn't get knocked up again this year... although the kittens are gorgeous :angel: .
Fagan, the one we kept... is hunting the pointer as we speak! It's so cute... I can see from the parents where they got all their features. I'd love to know which one he gets this 'rattlesnake' tail thing from though. When he's really really excited (like now stalking the pointer) just the end of his tail shakes really fast almost like he's got a rattler on it!
Here is a pic with him and his big 'brother' Buddy, who was also formerly one of the neighbourhood 'fellas'! And man are they both big mama's boys! :rolleyes: Always looking to snuggle with me (not that I mind one bit! :p )
January 7th, 2005, 08:07 AM
:love: Dahmer and all you other kitty-saviours,you are just wonderful :love: :love: Buddy and Fagan are wonderful...warms my heart!!!
I had another visitor in the snow last night,driving my cats bananas...an Opossum,eating birdseeds :confused: he was really cute.
I looked up possums on Google,surprised to see they do not hibernate!
January 7th, 2005, 11:38 AM
Wow really...no hibernating? We saw one up on the fence this summer, but it seemed to be a passerby, haven't seen it since. We did get a lot of skunks this year...but it looks like they do hibernate thank goodness. I know they eat the cat food, the birdfood and even the peanuts (shells and all) that I put out for all the other animals. Some other tenants were starting to complain and blame me for the skunks, until I pointed out the huge mounds of garbage bags beside the dumpsters! :yuck: So instead of me getting in trouble the whole building got a memo about garbage! :p After all the little skunkies only found the cat food cause they were on their route to the other set of dumpsters!
Oh and this mornin, there were bloody paw prints on the porch and in the container... :sad: :( ...maybe the ice got one of them!
And I have found out that Momma and Poppa are just the two cats that I see, as they are not affraid to visit during the day... but at night I have a whole other slew of kitty visitors! Last night there was a black one again and one that looked a lot like my Buddy. :sad: It just breaks my heart that these critters are left to fend for themselves on these cold nights! I guess it's a good thing so many of the neighbours on the main street don't maintain their sheds...at least they can find somewhere warm to sleep.
January 7th, 2005, 12:43 PM
Aw Dahmer,I am so glad I don't live where you are,at least I don't have to see the poor cats,it's bad enough just reading about them :sad: but they have a guardian :angel: for sure,unfortunately there is only so much you can do...
The skunks we have in the summer usually only eat birdseeds on the ground,the possum came right up to the patio-doors where I had peanuts for my squirrells,so we had a really close look at him.They are usually really skinny,but this one was all fluffed up in his winter-coat...maybe I'll give him something else to eat tonight :D
The Starlings I have here are like Pirhanas of the air,they eat anything in two seconds,I often have to shoo them away so my 2 crows can eat,so they'll find and eat cat-food anywhere.
I hope the blood does not mean one of the cats are hurt,maybe they caught a mouse or a bird and the blood is from it,hopefully :sad:
and by the way,skunkies are adorable too...as long as they don't get excited :evil:
January 7th, 2005, 03:40 PM
What a great idea, I just hope you don't get skunks or racoons moving in this summer. Racoons will eat kittens if there are some around, they get them when they are young and helpless, I've seen it happen with barn cats.