Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Tucking Them In
When my kids were small, winter lost its charm just as quickly as it does now (pretty much before it officially began), but one thing remained a pleasure all through the cold months: dressing my children in blanket sleepers and tucking them into their cozy beds.
I realized the other day that my porch cats provided me with an opportunity to do something similar this winter, resulting in a similar sort of satisfaction. I call them "the porch cats" because I feed them on the porch and they bed there at night--in a cardboard box I placed inside the late Caroline's doghouse. They're feral cats, two females. I'm guessing it's a mother and a daughter. I can get near the older one, even pet her a bit if I'm about to fill her dish with food. But the other, even after several years of relative domestication, won't get within five feet of me. Still, I'm quite attached to both of them.
This year I discovered a product called SnuggleSafe. I ordered it from the PetSmart website for $19.99. It's an 8" heavy plastic disk I heat up in the microwave for six minutes. Then I cover it with a former dish towel and place it on the bedding in their box. The manufacturer claims it stays warm for 12 hours, but I doubt that. I do know that the cats love this thing. They share it, lying down on it or sometimes huddling around it like it's a little round red woodstove.
They're not the only ones who love it. On sub-zero nights, warm in my bed, I think of the two grey cats on my porch, warm in theirs. In my dreams they're wearing little blanket sleepers, one yellow, one pink.