Too Cold for the Cat

HERD ABOUT IT? by ana grarian

The winds of winter are upon us; dramatic temperature swings travel the currents. Saturday was windy cold accompanied by rain, snow and sleet that brought in Sunday temperatures in the 50’s and even a moment or two of sunshine. That freight train kept on moving and in the wee hours high winds brought our mid twenties which feel like -1. The caboose of this particular train will bring bitter cold for the midweek before ratcheting back up into typical January weather next week.
Dawn brought a bit of blue skies, now clouding over, and a cease to the wind. The cat has been begging to go out since 5 am but does not like the cold and so turns around and comes right back in. To my surprise the chickens chose to leave their pen. I had intended to simply fill their water and feed dishes and close the door. Our ducks are still laying eggs a testament to their resilience.
This week we all return to work and school after the long hoildays. I am a bit paranoid about managing the heat with the incoming cold and our newly extended hours, though I think perhaps it is only one day a week that we will all be gone all day long. Electric heaters will keep the bathrooms from freezing and the furnace should kick on once the temperature goes below 50 inside. Indoor plumbing does create its own hassles. I remember the first house I lived in after college. Until we learned to effectively manage the wood-stove, we would wake to break the film of ice on the top of our 5 gallon buckets of water. Of course I could leave the water dripping like I did last winter when we had an extended period of below zero weather.
I have been stockpiling heat sources. I spent the weekend dragging logs into the back yard, cutting them up and splitting them. The porch is full and the stacks in the barn grow larger, covering 3 walls almost 3 foot high. There is more to cut and split, but I think I will wait until next week when temperatures climb back into the mid 20’s. I purchased a palet of bio-bricks, compressed wood fiber, to serve as an emergency supply if snow should preclude wood cutting, or even a delivery of cord-wood. Now I sit here contemplating if my stove would burn coal.
Writing this my unease strikes me as ludicrous. It is not as if there isn’t a service station just down the road where I could buy kerosene by the gallon to get me through a rough spot. Ah well, I don’t want to expose the family to discomfort, and I want to prove to myself that I am strong, resourceful and capable.

P.S. If you click on the photo it should link to a webpage on feral cats. If you live in an area where adequate shelter is limited, you might choose to provide some for the neighborhood feral cats. They can be simply made with easily available odds and ends. Do a web search for feral cat shelters.