And the next minute, the leaves were suddenly off the trees and we had this:
We actually had snow flurries! I was hoping for some accumulation, but we mainly got a 'wintry mix' that melted by the next day. Still, it was nice to see some winter scenes...
The temperature shift was so sudden that a lovely fog emanated from the surface of the pond.
Of course the cats, who are normally so keen to get outside, weren't so tough once they got their paws in the snow!
Speaking of cats, this is Clotilde.
I've seen her around for the past couple of years, but she was so fat and sleek that I was sure she had an owner. But as the weather has gotten colder, she's spent more and more time on our back deck. She seemed hungry, so I fed her. She gobbled it down. I began to worry as the temperatures dropped at night. I started feeding her twice a day daily, spending a little time petting and fussing over her (cats love to be loved!), and decided that she must be a stray.
This is a bit of a sore topic for me. I can't imagine the moral vacuum that must exist in a person who adopts an animal and then, when it becomes inconvenient, tosses them out into the cold to fend for themselves. I understand that circumstances change and that sometimes, you're just unable to keep your pet. That's fine, but try to find them a home, or turn them over to a no-kill shelter. Ugh!!!
Since Todd is allergic to cats and we already have two, we just could not bring her into the house, not even for just overnight. Tabitha has been terribly offended by Clotilde's occupation of the deck, and Todd was worried that it would be constant yowling and under-the-door fighting if we kept her occupied in a spare room. So we did the next best thing: built her a "kitty condo" outside! I encourage anyone who might have a stray or two hanging around to do this in cold winter months. It's easy and inexpensive.
We bought a large Rubbermaid container and cut a cat-sized hole in the front of it.
Next, Todd built a little wooden box with a removable lid (OPTIONAL: just get a smaller Rubbermaid box to fit inside if you don't want to build one!)...
...and packed the area around and above the smaller box with household insulation to hold in warmth. If you don't have insulation, pack it with anything that would help hold in heat: wool strips, straw, Styrofoam, whatever).
Then put on the lid and you're ready to go! It took her a couple of days, but Clotilde slept in the cat box for the first time last night and stayed as cozy as a bug in a rug all night! It confirms my suspicions that she's a stray. She is so friendly and playful. I have to walk bow-legged around her, because she rushes to rub against one leg and then the other, as quickly as I can walk, so I have to make room for her or I'd trip. She is such a sweet girl and I look forward to spending more time with her!
Meanwhile, our spoiled cats are staying plenty warm inside.
I love this time of year. It's not really cold in South Carolina. We're in the 50s during the day. But nights are chilly, so it's the season of snuggling under quilts, board games by the Christmas tree lights, supper by candlelight, fleece pajamas, hearty soups, and hand-knit gloves and socks. I love it!
Have a great week!