Hi! I'm Janis and I am a retired elementary music teacher. But this blog is not about music and it is not about children. This is a blog about cats — feral cats.

The story begins with my first post—Cassie!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Ice and Snow and Feral Cats

Flash Forward, February 2015

Anyone who lives in the Middle Tennessee area knows about the "Snow Dome" and the inability of weather forecasters to forecast the weather. I call their obsessive behavior the Radar Show. It's most inconvenient when you want to watch normal TV.
Because all stations feel obligated to give everyone within a 500-mile radius a minute-by-minute account of what has just happened. Yes, you read that right—"just happened." Refer back to sentence No. 1 and the part about "inability . . . to forecast the weather." I really think they should have windows installed in the weather war rooms. It's just a thunderstorm, for heaven's sake!

But I digress. We always set up Kitty City in November. This year was no different. We have 5 houses that I described in a previous post. They each have a heating pad covered with towels. The houses are insulated and I do not turn on the heaters until the temps get in the 30s. Here in Nashville that can be tricky because you can wake up and the temp is a balmy 50 and it can be 20 by noon. Or vice versa. Crazy place.

The houses are sitting on our upper deck beside the house in patio chairs on top of a thick cushion. For some reason, I think that helps.

Then Don builds a frame, covers all of that with a huge tarp to keep the wind and rain out. And as a 2nd line of protection he sets up a huge canopy that extends from front to back.

I know, we're crazy. But if you want sane, close this and go to a cooking blog.

This year, I had an idea to also cover the rest of the deck and overlap the canopy with another tarp. That was a great idea because now, I can just step out and under that canopy to feed the cats without getting wet in the unpredictable weather, whatever it may be. And it makes it much easier for my 87-year-old mother when she takes care of the cats when we are out of town.

This past week, Feb. 15-21, we have had an ice storm and frigid temps that have broken records. Wind chills way under zero. I have been so concerned about the cats.

I actually was able to get one into the house, Pippa, who has been in before and is very friendly. But that left 3 regulars still out in the elements.

We tried to put up another wind wall but we think that may have scared them away because it and the tarp both collapsed under the weight of the ice. And they had never heard the sound of ice falling anyway. So that had to be very scary.

But all cats are accounted for. They somehow survived that frigid cold and have been eating and drinking as usual.

Pippa? Miserable inside the house. Complained a lot. So today I sent her on her way. It's still in the 20s so maybe she'll remember how nice and warm and dry it is and come back.