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Brian Link
November 15th 05, 05:27 AM
Our newest stray, who I've named "Ringo" because of his prominent,
ringed tail, seems to be doing quite well, even though we can't
provide a home indoors for him.

We bought a pet carrier from a local thrift store, and lined it with
plastic and newspapers. Then we put it in our backyard, wedged between
our shed and house (invisible to any indoor windows, hopefully
reducing the stress on our resident cats). I also installed a bird
bath nearby with the dual purpose of watering our local birds and
giving Ringo a place for a drink of water.

The other night I went out back and surprised him, and saw him dash
out of the carrier. It's definitely been used, shreds of newspaper
being piled up near the entrance.

Here in Minnesota, we're getting set for our first big snowfall and
cold snap. Hopefully Ringo will have a warm place to hang out, until
we can earn his trust and get him to the vet for neutering and
innoculation.

Thanks for you folks who have offered ideas on how to mitigate the
suffering of these outdoor strays. It's such a sad situation - I saw
the carcass of a car-struck cat very near our house yesterday.
Someday, maybe, our collective efforts will outstrip the fecundity of
these roaming cats.

BLink

November 15th 05, 05:44 AM
Brian Link wrote:
> Our newest stray, who I've named "Ringo" because of his prominent,
> ringed tail, seems to be doing quite well, even though we can't
> provide a home indoors for him.
>
> We bought a pet carrier from a local thrift store, and lined it with
> plastic and newspapers. Then we put it in our backyard, wedged between
> our shed and house (invisible to any indoor windows, hopefully
> reducing the stress on our resident cats). I also installed a bird
> bath nearby with the dual purpose of watering our local birds and
> giving Ringo a place for a drink of water.
>
> The other night I went out back and surprised him, and saw him dash
> out of the carrier. It's definitely been used, shreds of newspaper
> being piled up near the entrance.
>
> Here in Minnesota, we're getting set for our first big snowfall and
> cold snap. Hopefully Ringo will have a warm place to hang out, until
> we can earn his trust and get him to the vet for neutering and
> innoculation.
>
> Thanks for you folks who have offered ideas on how to mitigate the
> suffering of these outdoor strays. It's such a sad situation - I saw
> the carcass of a car-struck cat very near our house yesterday.
> Someday, maybe, our collective efforts will outstrip the fecundity of
> these roaming cats.
>
> BLink

I rigged up a temporary shelter for a feral stray once.. I used a large
Rubbermaid container, not too different from a pet carrier. It might
help if you raise the carrier a few inches off the ground and insulate
the bottom. Also, I found a down jacket at a thrift store, and
cut/sewed a lining for the inside of the carrier.


Sherry

Rhonda
November 15th 05, 06:46 AM
Glad you're taking care of Ringo, Brian. Minnesota has got to be a tough
climate for strays. He'll appreciate the shelter.

Styrofoam is good insulation, too. Maybe elevate it on that -- could
even possibly put some on the sides.

We have a plastic disk called "Snuggle Safe" for pets. It looks like 2
frisbees glued together, and is filled with a heatable gel. I believe
Petco and Petsmart carry them. You just heat it in the microwave for
several minutes and it stays warm for about 10 hrs. We used it with a
towel or blanket on top for one of our cats. Maybe that could work for
Ringo on the coldest days, too.

Hope everyone is happy and warm,

Rhonda

Brian Link wrote:

> Our newest stray, who I've named "Ringo" because of his prominent,
> ringed tail, seems to be doing quite well, even though we can't
> provide a home indoors for him.

-L.
November 15th 05, 12:02 PM
Brian Link wrote:
> Our newest stray, who I've named "Ringo" because of his prominent,
> ringed tail, seems to be doing quite well, even though we can't
> provide a home indoors for him.
>
<snip>

Be sure to feed him more food, and higher-quality food now that it's
cold. Warm dinners of cooked poultry (including fat) are especially
appreciated by the outdoor cats in snowy weather. I used to buy whole
chicken on sale, bake them, let them cool until just warm, and then set
the deboned meat/skin/fat out near the shed where they hung out. It
would be gone in minutes.

-L.

November 15th 05, 04:39 PM
-L. wrote:
> Brian Link wrote:
> > Our newest stray, who I've named "Ringo" because of his prominent,
> > ringed tail, seems to be doing quite well, even though we can't
> > provide a home indoors for him.
> >
> <snip>
>
> Be sure to feed him more food, and higher-quality food now that it's
> cold. Warm dinners of cooked poultry (including fat) are especially
> appreciated by the outdoor cats in snowy weather. I used to buy whole
> chicken on sale, bake them, let them cool until just warm, and then set
> the deboned meat/skin/fat out near the shed where they hung out. It
> would be gone in minutes.
>
> -L.

Absolutely. I forgot about that. Extra food means extra energy to help
stay warm. If the OP is really serious about this, there's a product
available that's designed for outdoor use; I think it's designed for
doghouses. It's a hard, enclosed plastic heating unit. It heats to 102
degrees, and has a steel wrapped cord. I ended up trapping the stray in
the garage, and used it out there. It cost about $80 at Petsmart.

Sherry

-L.
November 15th 05, 06:25 PM
wrote:
>
> Absolutely. I forgot about that. Extra food means extra energy to help
> stay warm. If the OP is really serious about this, there's a product
> available that's designed for outdoor use; I think it's designed for
> doghouses. It's a hard, enclosed plastic heating unit. It heats to 102
> degrees, and has a steel wrapped cord. I ended up trapping the stray in
> the garage, and used it out there. It cost about $80 at Petsmart.
>
> Sherry

Sounds like a useful unit for people who have "outside" cats and live
in cold climates.

I remember one year in IL the weather got really cold - colder than
their normal "cold". My Mom ran a space heater in the garage for the
outside kitties, and she had a small doggie door with a flap so they
could go in and out. In the AM she came out to feed the cats and found
a family of raccons in there, too. Musta been pretty dang cold to
chase them from their nest!

-L.

whitershadeofpale
November 15th 05, 10:34 PM
Brian Link wrote:

> Thanks for you folks who have offered ideas on how to mitigate the
> suffering of these outdoor strays. It's such a sad situation - I saw
> the carcass of a car-struck cat very near our house yesterday.
> Someday, maybe, our collective efforts will outstrip the fecundity of
> these roaming cats.
>
> BLink

FTR: I think it makes the Lord smile when we do these things.

Animals were with him at his birth (in a manger)

The Lord also saved animals on the Ark with Noah

(if you believe the Biblical account)

Melia
November 16th 05, 04:00 AM
One neighborhood where I take care of many ferals used to have an old
unused garage that the cats shared with a family of possums. Also, for
years, if I got to the feeding site late, I would set down several
food plates, walk away and watch cats and a couple raccoons and a
couple possums eat close together. I try not to leave food in the dark
because I don't want to feed the possums and raccoons. Some humans
are mean to possums and raccoons, which is another reason it wouldn't
be good to help create a huge group of them in the urban neighborhood.
The cats are fixed, but the other animals are not.

One great shelter for ferals is the sturdy styrofoam box you can get
from a tropical fish store. These boxes are used to ship tropical,
aquarium fish. It is square and has a tight fitting lid. Seal lid
with lots of heavy duty packing tape. You can cut a small doorway
opening and place door away from the prevailing wind direction.
Elevate the box to help prevent snow and groundwater from entering.
Good luck with your feral boy!

Lynne
http://www.lovethatcat.com

Rebecca Root
November 17th 05, 03:12 AM
On 2005-11-15 20:00:07 -0700, "Melia" > said:

> One neighborhood where I take care of many ferals used to have an old
> unused garage that the cats shared with a family of possums. Also, for
> years, if I got to the feeding site late, I would set down several
> food plates, walk away and watch cats and a couple raccoons and a
> couple possums eat close together.
snip, snip.....8><

When I lived in Austin, TX, I house-sat a couple of times for a
professor who lived on Lake Austin. He and his wife would purposely
feed the neighborhood racoons with peanut butter sandwiches, dogfood
and day old Dolly Madison products. They left a whole notebook of
procedures for house sitters because the animals now depended on it.
They'd put out two feedings each evening and morning. At the darkest
feeding, you'd get all the young and healthy animals, at the lighter
one, you'd get the old and infirm. One time I was there, the second
morning feeding included a possum and a Siamese cat. The cat was a
neighbor's and was wearing a rhinestone collar, but just enjoyed
hanging with the wild boys. I guess as long as you wore a mask, you
could join the club, but that cat sure looked silly eating peanut
butter sandwiches and Twinkies.