Where do the stray cats go in winter? I hope they find a warm place to stay. Or perhaps my local cats stay in the shelters I provide.
I make the shelters out of big plastic storage bins. As you can see, this one is on its side, because that provides more floor space.
The door is a rectangle in the far side (actually, the intended top of the bin) facing the steps. Since the plastic is pretty tough, I asked a friend to cut it for me. Notice that the box is facing downhill so no water runs into it. The door is in the most sheltered position.
Do the outside cats use it? I’m not sure. But it’s the best I can do because there’s nowhere on my property free of passing raccoons and foxes. But I have another identical shelter in a more secure location, under my neighbors’ deck (with their permission). I know Holly’s mom hangs out in their yard because it’s fenced. When I went to change the straw in the box, she took off like a bat out of hell. (If you don’t know, Holly is the stray cat I took inside and socialized. Her mom was too feral to try it.)
The recommended material for bedding is straw. There’s a farm store around here that gives away loose straw for free. You bring your own bag and stuff it at your own risk. I asked what’s the risk? Snakes? The guy said no because it’s too cold for snakes. Oh.
Here I am gathering up the straw.
And with my full bag.
I know Holly’s mom and probably her dad hang around here for the food. In this picture he’s eating and she’s making sure I don’t come outside.
Rebecca York’s latest book is Killian Unbound from Changeling Press.
Watch for Gawain Unbound early next year.
NY Times & USA Today best-seller, Rebecca York, is the author of over 150 books. She has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her romantic-suspense series, Decorah Security, is set at a detective agency where agents have paranormal powers or work paranormal cases. She also writes an Off-World series where each story is a science fiction romance taking place on a distant planet in the far future. She also writes the Unbound series for Changeling Press.