It's supposed to start after midnight here...maybe a couple of inches. Huzzah! It's cocoa and Sky Captain night at the Beechler-Simpson home!

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That's what I've been told, but I don't believe it. I think it's a lack of skilled labor. That, and no one here really expects them, in much the same way a man born without thumbs doesn't miss them. I sure do miss basements, though! On my street, people tend to use there garages for what mid-westerners use their basements for and park their cars on the street (or in the driveway blacking the sidewalk, more likely).

ClarkKent_DC said:

No snow in sight around these parts (greater Washington, DC), which is fine by me.

We had a very light dusting in western Prince William on Tuesday night that was still around this morning because its been so flippin' cold for the last two days. Prob'ly be gone by the time I get home tonight, though.

Yes, feral cats will return for food... but they only get to trust you as the food provider.  I think once they fend for themselves in the wild, they may never settle down to what we know as tame indoor cats.  On the other hand, a tame indoor cat that is released to the wild will tend to approach humans and rub up against them, having never had to fear humans or compete for food.

We are doing the same thing as you are, feeding the outside cats on a schedule, guarding the food, and starving the possums, racoons, etc. (We live trapped 29 of them this last summer for the Dog Warden to transport away!)

I built our shelters out of scrap lumber, plywood and drywall nails, along with some plans that I surfed off the internet. They aren't exact duplicates of the plans, but at least two different sized shelters for the cats... One for one, and a dorm for the others. I don't think either is in use right now, but we try to keep the bedding dry and changed when we think of it.

You know, with all the various guys on this board, I'd be interested in seeing a Google map or something similar with pushpins or radio beacons marking where all we live.  I think we've got a pretty diverse group that are wide spread, myself.  Can anyone come up with that?  Is there an app that can be linked for us to voluntarily weigh in what city and state we reside in?

It got down to 19 the other night, the coldest it's been in Tallahassee all winter. Yesterday's high was 57 today it's going to be 68 tomorrow 72. Welcome to Florida.

I'm beginning to draw the same conclusion you've already reached, Kirk: that those cats are never going to trust me as anything other than the food provider. I'm not really even trying to tame them enough to make them indoor cats (another of which we do not need!), I just hate to think of them being unsheltered when our inevitable ice storm does eventually hit. I'll post an update here if the situation changes.

We just sent a bunch of WV Mountaineer fans down to Miami to win yesterday. We heard the high was going to be 57 (a heat wave for us!) and when they return, the high around here will be 57 as well!  Surprise!

Jason Marconnet said:

It got down to 19 the other night, the coldest it's been in Tallahassee all winter. Yesterday's high was 57 today it's going to be 68 tomorrow 72. Welcome to Florida.

...soil in the area, or the need for tornado shelters?

Travis Herrick said:

Thanks for the cat shelter plans, but although I’m somewhat handy in that department, I have no tools and no workshop (mainly because there are no basements in Texas!).

We have basements in Texas just not in this part of Texas. It mainly has to do with the soil in the area.

Well you could build basements here, but they would be cost prohibitive, and have a good chance at falling apart. The clay soil here soaks up and releases moisture so easily that you would get cracks and such very easily.Which is why foundations go to hell so easily. Plus there is a lot of limestone that you may have to break through to get your basement in place.

Now further west where my mom grew up a lot of homes there had basements. Sandier soil.

It just doesn’t pay to become too attached to stray cats. The little black one we called “Soot” mysteriously disappeared two weeks ago and we haven’t seen it since. We even went to the animal shelter in case it had been picked up by animal control. I guess we’ll never know.

The tortoise shell one we call “Cali” still comes by at least once a day, but we imagine it to be lonely without its best friend. It has (finally!) learned to use the straw box I set up weeks ago, and that’s where I find it waiting for me most days when I get home from work. Two days ago I had just fed it when it began to rain. I always thought that if it found itself caught one our porch when it started to rain that it would use the shelter there, but it gulped down its food and darted out into the rain during the height of the storm, getting soaked in the process.

Yesterday we sat “together” (on opposite sides of the sliding glass door) for about a half an hour until s/he decided it was time to leave.

That's a tough one if you have a soft spot for animals, Jeff.  Stray dogs, you can (at least some times) win over. Stray cats are a much harder sell.  (And feral cats are pretty much out of the question).

We’re have the kind of weather Jerry Jones promised for last year’s Superbowl. (Today’s forecast high is 75 degrees.) That prediction came back to bite him on the arse when we had an ice storm and didn’t know how to handle it. It’s beginning to look as if I was needlessly worried about that stray cat freezing to death. (Still feeding it twice a day most days, but it still won’t come to me.) Last night’s low was 59. Brr…!

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