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Tue Feb 10, 2015, 12:53 PM

 

Send warm thoughts to my Feral Barn Gang This weekend

The meteorologists are predicting colder temperatures than we've had in twenty years starting Sunday night. I can't bring them in because the majority of them I can't even get near, and even the few I can pet have never been indoors so they'd probably freak especially with Marnie in here.

I just spread two new bales of straw on top of the three that were already there and am going to go back out to try and cover some more holes to keep as much of the wind out as I can. Unfortunately I can't cover all the window because the few times I've tried they break out one of the panels. Even though they have three exit spaces in the walls already the lady from Colony Caregivers said they must still want the window exit too, cause she came and tried to fix it once for me too and they broke her solution too.

I just hope it's enough to keep them warm. It's an old barn that my family hasn't used in years, there's not even electricity out there, but years ago they moved in, so I try the best I can to keep them fed, watered and sheltered. I have also managed to get all but three spayed and neutered through Colony Caregivers low cost TNR program. Hopefully we will get those three done this spring.

In return I get no rodents in my house and hard won friendship from the few over the years that have decided, hey that woman is not so scary and is okay for a human.

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply Send warm thoughts to my Feral Barn Gang This weekend (Original post)
Liberalynn Feb 2015 OP
Tuesday Afternoon Feb 2015 #1
Liberalynn Feb 2015 #2
Tuesday Afternoon Feb 2015 #3
Liberalynn Feb 2015 #9
cyberswede Feb 2015 #6
Liberalynn Feb 2015 #10
Flaxbee Feb 2015 #4
Liberalynn Feb 2015 #11
In_The_Wind Feb 2015 #5
Liberalynn Feb 2015 #12
irisblue Feb 2015 #18
In_The_Wind Feb 2015 #20
magical thyme Feb 2015 #7
Liberalynn Feb 2015 #13
riderinthestorm Feb 2015 #8
Liberalynn Feb 2015 #14
shenmue Feb 2015 #15
Liberalynn Feb 2015 #16
irisblue Feb 2015 #17
Liberalynn Feb 2015 #21
Bertha Venation Feb 2015 #19
Liberalynn Feb 2015 #22

Response to Liberalynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 01:05 PM

1. sending the warmest of vibes to your barn kitties ... also ... if you want

One of the quickest, easiest, cheapest, and best ways to built an insulated house for a cat or dog is to use an inexpensive Styrofoam ice chest. Put the lid on the chest and secure it by wrapping duct tape all the way around. Flip the chest over so the lid is now the floor. Use a sharp knife to cut an appropriate size door in one end for your pet. You can use duct tape to tape a flap in place to keep the wind out. The flap can be made from anything you have handy... a sheet of rubber, an old kitchen placemat, etc. Just be sure your pet can easily push the flap out of the way to enter and leave the "house." Place something heavy on the floor of the house (a couple of bricks, etc.) to give it enough weight so the wind won't blow it away. Add some straw, old blankets, etc., to give your pet a comfy bed. If you want to get fancy and show off your woodworking skills you can build a wooden exterior that can sit over the ice chest but that isn't really necessary. Styrofoam is an excellent insulator. This quick house will keep your pet toasty warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 01:09 PM

2. Thank You!

 

That's a great idea!

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Response to Liberalynn (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 01:20 PM

3. easy and cheap ... keep us updated and

pictures of your gang would be great, too

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 06:27 PM

9. I will keep you updated this is Bumpkin and Probie

 

[URL=.html][IMG][/IMG][/URL].

The rest ran out of the barn before I could snap their pic. They were not happy I was in there remodeling the other side of their home. Sorry the pic quailty is not the best.

This is Bumpkin on a sunnier day. She is the tamest. She sometimes sleeps in my lap and will let me pet her. She hates to be held though.

[URL=.html][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

I will keep you updated

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 01:37 PM

6. I love that! nt

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Response to cyberswede (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 06:29 PM

10. Me ttoo.

 

That is a great idea!

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Response to Liberalynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 01:21 PM

4. My sister is a veterinarian and she says it is vital for them to be able to get out of the wind.

I asked her, one particularly cold and snowy winter here in Virginia years ago, how the cats I fed but could never get near survived in the cold. She mentioned having wind-free shelter, that even rotten/hollow trees would do. I proceeded to convince husband to cut a cat-door in our garage door - our garage was stuffed to the rafters with tools and we never used it for the cars (unfortunately) - and put blankets in boxes and we had several nest in there during particularly cold snaps (and even managed to catch and spay/neuter a few). Our tools unfortunately ended up smelling like cat urine, but in exchange for the price of some kitty lives, I didn't care.

If your feral babies have places to curl up into tiny cat-balls and not have the wind wick away all their heat, they'll get through it okay.

As Tuesday Afternoon said, styrofoam containers - the how-to link she provided - also help a lot.

I was worrying this morning about all the strays in Boston and others places feet-deep in snow - how in the hell they're surviving. Dogs and cats Your feral barn babies are so lucky to have you!

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Response to Flaxbee (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 06:43 PM

11. That is good to know.

 

I have a few cat carriers that I bought as the vets told Colony Caregivers they don't want the cats in the traps for post surgery return trip. So I filled them with straw too. I will have to clean them out before the spring but I want them to have several options. I will get some styrofoam containers too on Friday. I also tried to stuff as many of the spots where drafts were coming in as I could, except the spots that they use as entrances and exits.

That is sad thinking about all those poor cats and dogs in Boston. I hope they have a branch of Alley Cats Alliance or something like Colony Caregivers helping the ferrals there.

That is wonderful that you opened your garage to the ferals near you and provided them with bedding.

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Response to Liberalynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 01:22 PM

5. Warm thoughts on the way.

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Response to In_The_Wind (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 06:43 PM

12. Thank You

 

I love that pic.

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Response to In_The_Wind (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 07:05 PM

18. HEY!! when did you get pix of Kira love?

wow how did you find us?

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Response to irisblue (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 07:43 PM

20. lol. just lucky.

Sounds like Kira is lucky too.

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Response to Liberalynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 02:14 PM

7. they'll find the wind-free spot...

 

and their shared body warmth will go a long way. bless you for what you do...

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 06:46 PM

13. Thank You

 

There's a few that like to spit at each other but things were pretty calm out there, so hopefully they will all just get in one big huddle.

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Response to Liberalynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 03:37 PM

8. Put out some cardboard boxes with some towels or rags on the bottom

 

I usually cut off three of the flaps and leave one as a sort of "roof".

The barn kitties love them all use them at my place. Nothing fancy. Like others have mentioned, as long as they can get out of the wind, they'll cope.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 06:50 PM

14. Thank You

 

I do have some cardboard boxes and old pillows out there. I also have an old dog bed out there. We lost our Maxie last year so we gave the cats her old bed and when we got Marnie we bought her a new one so she wouldn't think she had to pee on it to mark it as hers.

Thank you also for what you do for your barn cats.

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Response to Liberalynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 06:54 PM

15. Hugs

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Response to shenmue (Reply #15)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 06:58 PM

16. Thank You

 

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Response to Liberalynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 07:03 PM

17. Lynn, I want you to hear this

you did the best you could. Do not beat yourself up because you could not get all the ferals to accept a humans' help. You did the best you could today. Set up the houses if you can.
I did not know/realize there were ferals hiding under my car until my greyhound-mix flushed them from under my car in a car port in the wee small hours on a really really cold morning on a really really early morning a few weeks past.

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Response to irisblue (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 06:16 PM

21. Thank You Iris!

 

You're right. I've done just about all I can. One of the cats is already sleeping in one of the cat carriers I stuffed with straw, and I got most of the holes covered over on the side with the straw mound and I will do a few of cardboard boxes full of straw tomorrow. I'm going out shopping with my sister on Friday, we were planning on it anyway, so I will see if I can find the Styrofoam chests too.


The kitties do love to hide under cars. Marnie's always looking under mine to see if there are any hiding under there in the mornings.

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Response to Liberalynn (Original post)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 07:39 PM

19. Bless you for a saint, Lynn

The cats know they can rely on you.

They can burrow into the straw and they'll be warm. They will be fine.

You're a good egg, and I admire and thank you.

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Response to Bertha Venation (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 06:23 PM

22. Thank You!

 



The weatherman said today that it's going down to probably 30 below with the wind chill on Sunday, so I'm grateful that at least today was sunny and above freezing so I could get the barn a little more buttoned up for them and get some more shoveling done so the.snow doesn't drift around my doors.

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