During the summer, J was hired to work at our hospital's boarding facility. He only worked about two weeks, though, b/c his other job offered him a raise. (Lucky him) He called T a couple of months ago to ask her if there was any way he could help out/volunteer/raise money for our Hope Foundation/feral cat program. He likes to build, so she suggested he make some cat houses. (He's in the Boy Scouts, and needs to do some sort of charity project to make it to the Eagle Scouts)
I was behind the animal hospital a couple weeks ago, trying to rig up some sort of feeding station. I needed something big enough to allow all the cats to eat (they all eat together, usually) and something that will help protect them from wind and snow. Unfortuantely, I have little building skill and little money/resources. So I bought a big plastic tub, with the intentions of cutting a hole in it for a door, but I realized that though the tub is big, it's not big enough for even two cats to eat comfortably. I ended up setting it on its side, using the top as a roof, and weighing it down with a fallen branch. I hauled two tires over from the discarded tire pile next door and used them to support the tub off of the ground.
J scared me by his arrival. Wasn't expecting anyone to show up back there, much less a guy. = ) He had come to take pictures of the area, the cats, and the houses we already have. He helped me roll a couple more tires over to extend the "shelter"'s floor. I showed him our houses, what could be improved upon, and explained what I was trying to do with the tub and tires. He took some pictures, got one of Jehzar in the woods, and then left me to my pathetic attempts at a food shelter. = ) He did offer to build me one, though, after he finishes the houses, which I thought very kind.
I filled the tires with leafy remains to make an extended floor and attempted to camoflauge it a bit with branches and leaves. Then sprinkled some straw over the tub's floor and the tire tops. I have to say, it looks interesting, but all my work really provides nothing in the form of shelter from the wind, rain and snow for the cats. Unless they are right under the tub. I filled a smaller bin full of straw to keep out there, right next to the "shelter." I will use this to layer on top of the snow so they don't have to stand on the cold snow for a lengthy period of time. (An idea from SW, one of the leaders of the group that cares for the RIT cats.)
It is just *so cold* here in the winter. The wind seriously chills me to the bone. Not fun.
I'm looking forward to J's houses, though! We'll probably use one back there, then the others for Tipsy's cats, or other needy ferals.