Ice on the Water Dish, Frost on the Cat Shelter

Yep, it had to happen…just not quite so early.  Well it IS Northern Ohio, and anything the weather people come up with is no surprise.   But golly, it’s only October 19…which is my grand-daughter Gina’s 19th birthday.

But we always have a frost (not to say freeze) in late October…just enough to smite the foliage with frost in order to bring out the glorious colors of Autumn.  That is to say “Fall,” but Autumn has a nicer ring to it.  The reds promise to brilliant this year, in both meanins of “brilliant”– brilliant as in bright, and brilliant as in excellent-remarkable-out-standing, as they say in England.

Stepping out onto the back deck, where I have set up the cat shelter for the winter, I tied back the edges of the door-flap, and put out cat food and … checked out the water pan, which had a thin layer of ice.  Yes, it was very thin, and one of the cats had poked a paw through it to have a drink.   Since I was wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt, I quickly noticed that the temperature had dipped very low–not that slight-below-40 is really THAT cold, comparatively, but it did occur to me that my denim shirt needed to come out of the dryer.

Since I am old, I can wear whatever I want.  So it’s shorts all winter, on occasion, mostly when all my jeans are in the wash.  My kids long since stopped saying “you aren’t going to wear THAT!” … except for being forbidden to wear my huge denim jumper dress out into public.

Back to the cat shelter, and the ice…

My outside cats really do appreciate the provisions I make for them, and to prove it–one of them left me a mouse.  The poor little dead critter had been stopped in mid-leap, and laid to rest right outside the door, and near the food dish.   I take that as notice that they DO appreciate me, and left one of their occasional tokens.  I pushed the dead mouse off of the edge of the deck with a pole…not that I don’t appreciate it, I just don’t want it hanging around.

There was a pile of cats between the tub-shelters, laying on top of a boxy thing covered with a really nice 35-year old blanket that finally made it out of the linen closet and into the beyond.  The tubs all have straw in them, placed their lovingly by the APL lady last ear.  They have an entrance which is a tube (like a large oatmeal container) taped through the front of the tub, secured by duct tape.  Those entrances are fine for the smaller cats, but the Fat Cats (not really so fat, just big) decline squeezing through that tube.  One of the tubs is a big thing that was designed to hold Christmas tree decorations, and has a capacity for more than one cat…although Peggy prefers to keep it to herself, unless it is super cold.

long shot (click to enlarge)
high tech flap opener
high tech flap opener
Red Maple, early color
Peggy, and Mawkin at lunch
Mary, inspecting house plants enroute to inside.
maze with chimenera, wide shot of back garden



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17 responses to “Ice on the Water Dish, Frost on the Cat Shelter”

  1. clcouch123 Avatar

    I appreciate your having a cat shelter. It makes a difference. Clearly, since the cats leave you tokens and trophies. My cat used to leave half-creatures at the door and one day brought a live mole home, which ran inside. I think the cat thought it be a snack for later. I live in southeastern Pennsylvania, and we’re having freezing temperatures. Maybe we wrote too many poems about the cold. Thanks!

    1. Gradmama2011 Avatar

      cold is part of living in this part of the world, and I still like it although I admit not as much as when I was 10.

  2. writersdream9 Avatar

    Animals add so much to life!

  3. artseafartsea Avatar

    Love what you are doing for the cats. I used to feed the outside (where I last lived) cats also much to the chagrin of my neighbors. We need more people doing that. Also had/have a catch/neuter/release program in my city, by some good people. It takes a village I guess. 🙂

    1. Gradmama2011 Avatar

      it was my neighbor that first fed them, now we both care for them. At least we dont have kittens any more.

      1. artseafartsea Avatar

        It’s really nice thing you are doing.

      2. Gradmama2011 Avatar

        thanks artsea, it’s my contribution to whatever

  4. Bushka Avatar

    Brrrr…..Early arrival. Hopefully there will be a number of respite periods before ‘Full Onslaught.’ To keep you warm….Hugs!

    1. Gradmama2011 Avatar

      true. I just want to have the shelter set up so I dont have to freeze doing the work. the cats will rearrange the straw if it gets too warm

  5. Bekkie Avatar

    I am so happy to see people like you helping the cats. The shelters are dying out due to no money and cats are the one’s to suffer first. I have noticed a lot of help being offered to dogs lately with no mention of cats. I love all animals but feel sad that cats always get the last thought.

    Living in CA in the Bay Area you see it all in animal stories. The drought is bringing animals into the cities that you’d never see otherwise and I constantly wonder how all the creatures are making out it’s a bad one.

    All the fires have driven out people and animals that live in the national forest and those areas, they have nowhere to go! No one has written or mentioned the animals and what’s happened to them since the fires but I think about it.

    Your humble shelter is a life saver when the temperatures get below zero sometimes minutes count.

    You are one awesome lady and I like your blog I’ll be back.

    1. Gradmama2011 Avatar

      not so awesome…I think cats are more resilent and independent and have a way of survival (by attaching themselves to a colony of feral cats,) more so than dogs. The local county program of trap/neuter/release works with the APL, and there is also a group or club of people that do various things to not only keep cats from becoming a nuisance but also helping to care for them. We are lucky because we have a lot of land and have plenty of space, plus the bonus that our neighbors are all cat-people anyway. Actually I didn’t create the tub/shelters, a woman with the APL did…and she insulated them and brought some over here and next door. I have too many cats in my house now, some are ancient (18) and ready to check out. There are from 8 to 14 outside cats at various imes. We worked on the shelter yesterday. The key is straw! and Tarps.

      1. Bekkie Avatar

        Wow that’s a lot of cats! I had no idea from the outside looking in! What work that must be. The straw is a great idea it’s good for so much! They are pretty independent I forget how much so. I have one black male, Boo he’s 8 and slowing down. He’s feral (got a notched ear) I got him as a kitten and he’s a small male, only 13 lbs. he’s a good boy. I have an outdoor patio area fenced in on the bottom as high as my head (6 ft.) and he goes out there and never escapes it freaks me out. He has no idea (an indoor cat) and he makes me forget how “real cats” act he’s such a little home boy.

        You are still awesome! Hugs!

      2. Gradmama2011 Avatar

        they arent any work except assembling the shelter. I have the water pan and the food near the door, so I dont have to step out in the snow. the outdoor cats all have notcbed ears. we no longer have to contend with kittens. now inside cats are a different story, for obvious reasons. I do have too many, but Mrs. Tinky is older than I expected, and Moby not far behind her. Sister just came in two winters ago and refused to leave. and Baby is a special case because of her cellebellar displasia or whatever its called. inside are all fixed and had their shots as kittens.

      3. Bekkie Avatar

        I love my Boo he gives me such comfort always ready to purr and be near me even if he’s not a lap cat he likes to be near.

        I lost my Polly a year ago she was a feral I took from a shelter when she was going to be killed (she was on TV in Oakland and I drove to get her) at 3 years old she was fat and poly-dexterousness (I think it’s called). Her skin was a mess and with work she turned into a sweet, thinner cat with a beautiful black coat. At 7 she went down so fast we didn’t know what it was. I think cancer. Boo’s finally forgotten her I think.

        I want a puppy but can’t have one until I live somewhere else. I’m disabled so don’t walk as much as I should I look forward to walking the dog and picking up poop it’ll be good for me. I’ve already lost 17 lbs. I’m on a health kick (not fad) and have even got on my bike again. It’s been 2 years.

        My dream place would be on a farm with many animals taking care of them everyday. I like to grow things and have large jade trees on my patio they are blooming now. I used to have vegetable gardens.

        I am from Indiana and have been to Ohio. Tess, (person behind Magpie Tales) just left Ohio to move to the UK to be with her lover. Isn’t that romantic?

      4. Gradmama2011 Avatar

        itsure is..I have friends like family over there

      5. Gradmama2011 Avatar

        also, half of the maximum num er of ferals actually live somewhere else. I do buy food for them, but they also like. read sometimes.

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