A while ago, we got a wild hair and decided this would be the year to upgrade the outside kitty warming box. What we had worked – roughly 30 inches by 30 inches square by 12 inches tall with a rough-cut opening on a hinged front wall, though there were a few design flaws that time pointed out. For example, it was too short. The only thing that could crouch low enough to enter was our occasional visiting opossum but we know he really liked it!
So we had put another warming mat on top of the box and a fluffy towel over that and that’s where Geoffrey slept while waiting for breakfast every morning. For three years. The box was located on our cement front porch and though painted the same color as our house (white) so it wouldn’t be noticeable, it was just that – noticeable. And an ant magnet. And spiders loved it. And we were tired of neighbors giving us the weird eye when they saw us hovering around it every day, almost as if we were crazy cat people or something. *snort!*
A couple of weeks ago, over on Love & Hisses, we saw an awesome cat house and Robin let us know where she got it. We thought it would be perfect for Geoffrey, something he could fit into instead of having to lay on top of. We placed an order immediately.
On the very day we took Geoffrey to the vet, his new house arrived. It was so easy to assemble, Mom put it together (using an electric drill) in less than 10 minutes. It’s very solid, air-tight and we love the color and shingled roof especially since we were going to move the location of his house from our drafty porch to our cozy side courtyard which is behind our fence. We even cut a hole in the fence and laid a cobblestone walkway so he wouldn’t muddy his feet coming to and from.
Then we got the bad news – Geoffrey had FIP and was sliding downhill. He’d lost weight over the winter and spring and we hadn’t noticed how much until it was too late. He’d never come home and would never get to see his new house.
Mom was heartbroken. She could care less about the stupid cat house…for about 48 hours. Taking cues from feral cat shelters on YouTube, she lined the house with reflective insulation to keep it cool in summer and warm in winter. And as soon as she can figure out how/where to get some hay and more importantly, where the heck to store extra hay, she’ll put that inside the house for bedding material. And then she replaced the old lightweight feeding bowls with weighty ant-free bowls.
Yesterday, we christened the house “Geoffrey’s House.” Regardless of who or what might move in, it’ll always be known as his place. We think he’d really like that.