Yesterday, I opened Hotel Cosy, my latest capitulation to the care of the neighbourhood cats. A friend and fellow member of the Lethbridge PAW Society had an outside cat-house that was not being used. She thought I might have better luck, so she generously has donated it to the cats living near my apartment building.
It is a large insulated plastic tube. I don’t know how warm it would keep a cat, but the use of any cat-house I place outside my apartment depends on whether the outsider-cats have a spot already to sleep away the cold nights - or days, for that matter. If they have homes, if they have warm locations that they like, they probably won’t use this one. But if not, this new little hostel may prove inviting.
There was a door to it, but it was difficult for cats to use. As well, I suspect that cats living this way would prefer to see what was just outside their residence. This does, however, allow cold draughts to enter the tube-house. I thought of hanging a small towel across the door, but this would obscure vision as much as a solid door and, as well, flap in the frequent wind that we suffer here, probably scaring the occupants and certainly causing sleepless nights. I have also considered a a self-heating cat-bed, assuming I can find one to fit, but it was pointed out to me that it’s recommended a cat have the opportunity (ie. space) to get off the bed, if they become too warm, and as room is limited in the tube-house, a heated bed (self- or otherwise) may not be practical.
Certainly, cats do like the tube-house. It was inside my apartment for a day, and most of my beasts spent time in there. Renn felt comfortable enough to snooze, and even Cammie sneaked in. (That’s her, almost invisible in the dim light.) There is plenty of room for one cat, even my big boy. I saw Tucker curled up at the front, so two cats could snuggle close up. Since I have seen two outsider-cats roaming together, and eating together from the food-bowl, I know that there are at least two who may sleep side by side.
Last night, I observed one of those black cats down in the concrete ditch (my ‘patio’), which means she was probably investigating the tube-house; she was not frightened by it. I have also placed the food-bowl on the floor of the ditch, out of the wind. Someone ate from it, which is gratifying, as I always worry that a new position for food or water won’t be seen. But it is clearly visible from the old location. And I wanted to entice the outsiders at least to examine the new abode.
So now we will see if anything comes of this. If it happens at all, it may take some time. But I’m not going anywhere, and neither is the tube-house. It may prove a pleasant resort come the spring or summer; in any case, Hotel Cosy is now taking reservations.