03 November, 2014

Here it comes...


Sweetie napping in the garden

Patty and Me; he's smiling...and so am I

It's getting to be that time of year, when my anxiety about Patty O'Malley and Sweetie starts to ratchet higher as the temperatures fall.  Their water bowl was frozen a couple of days ago.

In a perfect world, I would throw open the door, and invite them inside.  They could stay as long as they liked, and if they never want to go back out again, I would be happy to let them live with me forever.

However, the reality is that I already have two cats inside, and a stay-at-home hubby.  I am the one who comes and goes to the office, and spends less time in the house.  When we adopted Angel and Chuck over ten years ago,  they were inside-only and we humans foolishly considered our cat quota as met.  The first ferals (the late, great George and Hobo) were really skittish, and did not want human contact.  As the years rolled by, Sweetie, then Sammy, and lastly Patty came along.  They all used to run away from us, so we trapped 'em and fixed 'em, and figured a box with straw and some food would serve.

Yet Patty began to allow me to gently pet him, then hug him, and now we smooch and snuggle.  When Sweetie and Sammy saw what he was doing, they too joined in and I petted them and we became FRIENDS.  They run down the driveway when my car pulls up, and they meow and dance for me!  But the set up was for wild, unsocial cats!  My first priority must be Angel and Chuck, and yet these wonderful 'o' cats are only a hairs-breadth lower on the scale.  I think that I grieve for them, as each passing day gets colder, and I feel like I'm the bad guy.

Of course, they made it through last year's brutal winter; even Sammy who was probably rather sick the whole time lived through it.  So why do I worry so?  Hmm, if I could figure that out, then I wouldn't be writing about my pangs of terror when the winds blow, or how I wrap myself in multiple coats, boots, hats and scarves just to give them a fresh bucket of water.  I scrape ice, I sweep debris, and I shovel lots of snow to make paths so the cats can get through the drifts.  I add L-lysine and Vitamin C to their wet food, and in the really, really cold I heat up the bowls AND food, so they aren't living on kibble only.

And yet, it's not enough.  But do I pine and struggle for them, or for me?  They have everything they need; I do not.  I do not have them jump on my bed, or sing the song of their people at 3 a.m.  We don't LIVE together.  Such a conundrum, and it's beginning again.  Do they have crazy-lady-with-cats happy pills?  I think they do...

P.S. Today, the hubby and I finished insulating the Cat Hotel, and I filled both floors with straw.  The lower floor also has the warming pad.  Last thing to do is to put up a wind break on the second floor entrance.  Patty sat on the deck and watched us, while Sweetie lounged in the yard.  My fear is that they will abandon the Hotel any time we do something to it.  The overnight lows are staying above freezing for a few days longer, so if they need a day or two to courageously go back inside it, the temps aren't too bad.  Do you see how I am?


Tamago said...

You do the very best you can do for Patty and Sweetie...yes they have everything they need :-) Food, place to stay, care and love!
The photo of you and Patty together is so sweet. What lovely smiles on both of you :-)

da tabbies o trout towne said...

chucky & angel: ..yes we see egg act lee how yur mom iz...a caring, compassionate purrson who does her best ....dad two....for patty & sweetie...signed...da tabbies

pattie & sweetie: guys, yes, N we appreciates everee thing yur mom & dad do...mor than they will ever reel eyez...signed...patty & sweetie

mom ta chucky, angel, pattie & sweetie...if de water bowl setz ...out....as crazed az thiz sounds...if ewe can can a black waterz bowl...it helps sum what when de freezes be a round...de black bowl will a tract de sun & help melt de frozen waterz in de bowl... ☺

high paws & headbonks...ouch... two ewe ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Cat and DOG Chat With Caren said...

I think you are a complete Angel to be doing what you are doing. I think that what you are doing to the "cat hotel" is wonderful. They are smart, they will figure out that they can get warmth there and they WILL use it. On the somewhat "bright" side, I heard we are supposed to have less snow than last winter and I think I heard it isn't supposed to be quite as cold. We can hope.

The Island Cats said...

You take good care of them. They have it better than a lot of other cats who live outside...though we understand how you feel.

pilch92 said...

They are both beautiful kitties. You should not feel bad because you are going above and beyond to give them a safe, warm place. If you could catch them both though, it would be great to be one big happy family- we have 15, you can have 4 :)

Ivan from WMD said...

We think you are way too tough on yourself. The proof is in that very cute smiling photo of you and Patty!

What about a little heater element for their water bowl, you know, the kind you stick in a bird bath? I wonder if that would work.

Furries said...

What a sweet photo. I sympathize with your desire to have Patty and the others snug inside with you. I think we have those tug-of-wars with our hearts and our heads when it comes to the kitties we want to help more than we really can. You do a great job at keeping the outdoor kitties safe, fed, and warm with adequate shelter and I'm sure they appreciate everything you do for them.

Maggie from Stillness at Cherith said...

They are very blessed to have someone looking out for them.