Blimey wasn’t it warm this week?! The forecast was worrying enough to feel we needed to plan ahead to keep the place cool. We were hopeful that most of the cats would be sensible and stay out of the sun, but concerned about Aunty Honey who is elderly and has respiratory issues, and Luci who is long haired and flat faced.
One of the simplest things to do to keep the house cool of course is to close all the curtains. Except that’s not quite so simple here. We’ve not had any curtains in the lounge since Christmas. Not since the residents Christmas party when a now 6.5kg Kevin realised he wasn’t able to execute his trapeze swing party trick with quite the same elegance he possessed as a kitten. Gravity got the best of not just Kevin and the curtain, but the curtain pole and small chunks of wall too. We’ve kind of got used to being curtain free, and it’s helped Dasher break his habit of anxiously spraying them on his way in. It’s a warm sunny room though, and Honey’s favourite spot. Rowan and I got an old duvet cover and some small nails and tacked it over the window.
Luci’s room / my office is the warmest room in the house and we decided we couldn’t cope with being shut in there all day. Luci’s thick long coat is growing back beautifully now so he was going to be horribly warm. We were concerned that his short flat face and consequent breathing difficulties could be exacerbated by the heat. We went to negotiate with Solly and Hilde who have the other bedroom on the cooler side of the house. They normally have the run of the stairs and landing in the day time so they can chase around and play. They agreed to a plan to stay in their room and let Luci and I have our door open onto the landing to let in some cooler air. In return, we moved the furniture around so they could play climbing on the shelves in their room and supplied them with additional Dreamies.
The day arrived and we were as prepared as we could be – curtains drawn, lots of bowls of fresh water inside and outside. Timtam immediately took the prize for the most sensible cat in the house. She’d clearly read the science about black absorbing more heat. She ate her breakfast, then calmly took herself off to the coolest room in the house, climbed to the top of the cat tree in there and slept for the rest of the day.
Several of the residents went out into the garden. We’d decided to not try to keep them in. Apart from causing an outbreak of anxiety and paranoia in the semi ferals and indignation in the others, it’s nigh on impossible. Young Rolo worked out some time ago how to open a cat flap that was locked to “in only” and has shown most of the others how to do it. Getting them all indoors to be able to lock the flap completely would be like … well … like herding cats, and likely to lead to mass hysteria. Thankfully, since we have the garden cat proofed everyone can go out safely without wandering off and getting into any difficulties.
Amber’s initial strategy was to go in the kennel. That’s one of her favourite outdoor spots. After a while she began to wonder if she might be cooking in the straw and went to lay at the side of it instead.
Kevin and Jerry started just by snoozing in the shade but by the end of the day it appeared Kev had put his digging skills to use and they’d been excavating the garden to find cooler soil to lay on.
The rest of them alternately went from sun to shade to flollopping indoors … and looking enviously at Timtam who clearly had the prime spot on the coolest cat tree.
Little Hanne was probably the biggest challege (as ever!) She appeared oblivious to the fact that it was hot and bounced and chased around as usual. Her best friend Rowan, on the other hand, seems to feel the heat and pours out of his bed like molten fur on a hot day. We found the poor boy pretty much wearing Hanne as a hat, then a scarf as she pounced on him and swung round his neck in the garden. In the end we had to fetch her indoors. Aunty Honey took charge and got her settled down quietly doing some colouring.
Luci survived the day without incident though he got very little work done.