Monday, December 28, 2009
Made a sleeping shelter for Tess
These two pictures show the sleeping shelter before I surrounded with bales of hay. The second picture just looks like hay but the shelter is inside and protected from snowy weather.
Over the past month I have been somewhat distressed about Tess because she spends her days in an open and abandoned parking lot. This is fine during good weather but now that it's cold I am very concerned about her and Jazz and Que. I built a sleeping shelter a few years ago and asked permission to place it in the back parking lot of the company next door to the abandoned lot. It was fine and all was well. Then a new woman in charge came along who wanted to flex her muscle. Sleeping and eating shelters were removed. Notwithstanding the fact that all were kept very clean and tidy and only one was visible. All the rest were hidden from view. But that is a whole other story.
I am now feeding Tess, Jazz & Que on city property which borders on a private and abandoned parking lot which is fenced. As the weather got colder I was trying to come up with a solution for the cats. At night they sleep in a warehouse across the street but during the day they are out in the open and exposed to the elements.
Last week I bought a Rubbermaid tub, lined it with insulating foam and put a bedding of wood shavings in the bottom. I was looking for straw to put inside for bedding but it seems rather hard to come by right now. Not sure why. Making the shelter was easy but getting it on to the private property inside the fenced area was a concern, or so I thought.
As luck would have it, I was able to access the private abandoned parking lot via another private parking lot because someone left the gate open. I pulled my car in and dropped the shelter over the fence.
Next I had to come up with some way of adding bales of hay into this lot so I could surround the shelter to make it warmer for the cats. Fortunately my sister lives on a farm and she was coming into the city. Arrangements were made for her to bring in six bales of hay and she would just back her truck up to the fence. This made it super easy to get the hay up and over the fence and into the abandoned lot. We just had to do this quickly to avoid too many people driving by from seeing us and thinking we were throwing garbage over the fence.
The next big issue was that I had to climb the fence to arrange the bales around the shelter. My plan was to return that same evening. I would go under cover of darkness and being just before Christmas hopefully most people would be too wrapped up in their own thoughts to pay much attention to me climbing a fence.
I returned after dark and while there I left food for the kitties. Minutes before I was to scale the fence I looked around to see who might be around (this is a busy industrial area) when I noticed a lovely fox heading my way. OMG. I couldn't believe it. He came trotting toward me while I stood mezmerized. He was nervous of me but then I too was nervous. In my 7 years of feeding these cats I have never seen a fox, although I know they are around.
I was cursing myself because I always have my camera. Just before leaving home decided I didn't want to carry it so left it behind. I can count on one hand the number of times I have been without my digital. This dear little fox was hungry and he went into the feeding shelter for a bite to eat but every few seconds poked his head out. By now I was safely inside my car watching him. Something spooked the fox and he left the feeding shelter and I saw him duck through a hole in the fence into the parking lot.
I realized that maybe I didn't want to climb the fence now after all. If the fox got through that hole that I thought was only big enough for the cats, what other delightful evening creatures might there be inside the fence.
So the following morning in broad daylight I scaled the fence at a spot where it isn't quite so high and walked across the parking lot to the shelter in the opposite corner. I moved the shelter, surrounded it by the bales of hay so that wind and snow would not blow directly in the hole of the shelter. I had one extra bale and decided I would keep it so managed to heave it up and over the fence for future use. I walked back to the low spot in the fence to climb over and managed to catch my jeans. Lucky me I somehow managed to unhook myself and get back on the side to freedom without ripping my jeans. And without drawing attention to myself.
Now I am keeping my fingers crossed that the kitties actually use it.