I took off for Tractor Supply first, and I asked a nice woman to search the back rooms. After a long while, she finally stepped out and said the one pad she found had been recalled due to electrical problems; she could NOT sell it to me. Drat! I headed out to PetSmart, and was advised by staff that they don't carry such things. "But I saw one in another PetSmart about 10 miles away on the weekend...", I whined. The helpful staff called that store to hold it for me, but it was long gone. Double Drat!
When I talked to the hubby, he suggested we bring the pad inside to test it out. So, back home again, I snuck it inside the house (to keep the curious inside cats away), and plugged it in. I held it in my cold hands. I waited...tick tick tick. Hmm? Was there some warmth? Nope, my imagination. Tick tick tick. What? Really? Yep, for sure...it was getting warm! Not like a human heating pad, that can almost burn your skin, but a very slow, even warmth.
Hurrah! I am NOT the worst feral cat mama on the planet after all! The 'o' cats have some heat, and for some reason (probably because it's mostly FRIGID here), the pad was cold when I tried it that one time. I got the thing back outside and plugged it in, rearranging the straw and making it all nice and cozy again. Since then, I've witnessed Sammy going in and out many times, and I'm right glad. WHEW!
I think I'm a helicopter CAT mom. So glad the hubby kept me from completely freaking out, too.
Happy Valentine's Day!