This week marked our first large snowfall of the season and the city shuddered to a grinding halt. Traffic has been increasing from bad to worse each day, and people are already swearing as they’re shoveling snow for the sixth time. The temperature plunged to a lovely seasonal -15 or so, and the howling wind has been adding to the ambience.
The weather also brought a homeless kitty to our doorstep. Whenever I see a cat outside near our house, I immediately rush out with a bowl of food. I can’t help it, it’s like a Pavlovian reflex. Often the cat is collared and belongs to one of the neighbors. In that case he has a snack and moves on. Occasionally it’s a stray, that pounces on the food like it’s going out of style and sometimes we even manage to get him over to the local vet which passes him on to the Humane Society.
This fluffy orange cat appeared sporadically through the summer, and has never let me approach him. Now that the weather is crap, he waits for me to come home every day and devours a whole can of wet food, and a handful of dry food besides. He won’t get near the food if I’m outside though, he’ll just sit ten feet away and look at me reproachfully as if to say ‘dude, my meal is getting cold’. I’m not sure when he begins his vigil, but the snow is usually melted under him by the time I come home from work. After a meal he cleans himself, waits twenty minutes or so, and wanders off.
Now that the weather is so cold I’m quite worried about him, so tomorrow will be operation trap the cat. We’ll leave food on the porch in a cat trap and see if he bites. With any luck we’ll come home to a scared orange cat in a cage. Then our plan is the usual – foster him and let some shelter adopt him out. He may just be glad to be out of the cold.
Here is an awful photo of my cat watchin him eat through the window. He is just a dark shadow bent over his bowl of food. What really ticks me off is that he’s definitely not feral. He seems quite cautious around me, but I’ve seen him approach local kids in the summer, and he’s somewhat socialized. Which means he likely had a home once.
Do you help any critters survive the harsh winters?