Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where are the boys?

Seventeen degrees F today, with four inches of snow on the ground, but the cat colony was out in force at feeding time. Little Bit, the smallest female, solid black, but definitely the matriarch of the clan despite her size, was waiting on a cookie sheet for my arrival.
(I have two cookie sheets and a rubber maid tub lid as the primary feeding stations.) That had to be cold! She bounced down under the deck when I turned the corner, then returned with the rest of the family. It's always interesting to see the cats go and summon each other. Sometimes, on warmer days, when they're sprawled all up and down the alley and in neighbors yards, enjoying the hot St. Louis humidity, a lookout is posted on the deck. He or she will see me, then run over next door to collect friends. Their communication skills fascinate me. I wish I was more fluent in their language

Trading off the water dishes seems to be working; yesterday's water was frozen solid, so I replaced the dish with another one, and brought the frozen water inside with me to thaw. Not that it's wonderfully warm inside, mind you. With the thermostat set to 50, nevertheless the water is frozen at the kitchen downstairs, while upstairs, bedrooms, bathroom and office are so hot as to make it almost impossible to breathe. Ah, the joys of January.

The two yellow males are missing: Handsome and Skitter. I'm beginning to get a bit worried. I'm also thinking that a wet food feeding is in order, maybe tomorrow. Calorie for calorie, the cats still get more calories from the wet food (canned food) than from dry, as they use less energy to digest the canned. Super Super it is for tomorrow then, I think.


  1. They are smart little creatures, aren't they? Mine is used to coming in and out as she pleases, but with the recent cold spurt, she just pokes her head out, looks horrified, and comes right back inside. I don't know how they make it outdoors this time of year. They must have been able to adapt somehow, through the centuries; but it's good to know that someone keeps food and unfrozen water out for those who now roam the wilds of the city.

  2. @ Meridiana: I know, I REALLY worry about the feral colonies in weather like this. Our four indoor cats are likewise leery of the door in this cold weather. They're like, "No way am I going out there, are you crazy?" But they're all four rescued ferals, so they've been out in this before, and know how miserable it is. One tip from Alley Cat Allies is to add sugar to the drinking water. It helps the water stay liquid just a little longer (they say), and also adds a few more calories to help them keep warm.

  3. Amazon has a heated bowl for $24.10, pretty cheap, spend over $25 and get free shipping

  4. Robin, what a find! I ordered it just now. The reviews were all positive, too, except for the minor complaint that the cord is only 6 feet long. I'm thinking that the same extension cord we used for the christmas tree lights will do the trick. The feral cat colony thanks you, and I thank you. Will let everyone know how it works.

  5. That's so neat that they go tell each other there is food outside. I never thought that a cat would be so thoughtful towards it's buddies.