Setting Up a Stray House for Winter

We have a few neighbourhood cats that come around for food every night. One insists on coming during the day too but s/he’s a special case (see below).

Anyway, there’s a boy we call Hops who’s definitely homeless (only the homeless kids eat the raw food, for some reason) and we’d like to make sure he’s dry, safe and warm this winter so we bought him a little house. When I told the delivery driver what it was for, he looked at me like I had two heads. I guess looking after strays is not everybody’s cup of tea.

I’m still waiting on delivery of the fluffy couch that goes inside; it’s coming today!

Right now the box is sitting in the garage, unopened. I need help to put it together. I need help with a lot of things these days. Thankfully, I have people to do that for me; be helpful, that is. And happily.

Since everyone is so busy and tired at the moment, we’ll probably put it together over the weekend and I’ll post some photos then. One day I might even get a snapshot of little Hops. He’s such a special boy.

He has a dangly front leg. I don’t know if he was hit by a car or was born that way. It’s hard to tell when we can’t get close enough to touch him. It’s been about a year since he’s been coming around for food and my husband can stand right next to him which is so cool! I’m totally jealous.

I did manage to get a photo of GiGi, the cat that comes around several times a day. S/he is a beautiful boy-girl with the most striking markings. I will try to get some better photos but these are what I have:

GiGi started coming around when we first moved in around August 2021. S/he looked terrible. Thin straw-like fur but ever so muscly. I’ve never seen a cat with so much bulk. It was like s/he was all muscle and gristle and nothing more.

At first, we thought she was a girl b/c the small one is obsessed with her. Then I looked up ‘how to tell the gender of your cat’ articles and started thinking maybe she is a he? It’s hard to tell since his/her markings disguise that part of his/her body. Otherwise, it would be simple as pie; GiGi walks around with a permanent happy tail stuck straight up in the air for all to see. But now, I’m undecided. Having done more research and taken another look I think the best way to find out for sure is to compare her to the boys AND take a photo to show to the vet; maybe they can help.

I’ll let you know how I get on. For now, GiGi is just the baby that comes over to sit with Mum and cuddle for an hour or so in the late afternoon. purring and drooling and bunting all over everything… after a good feed! Sometimes twice or three times a day around 2 AM, 3 PM & 7 PM Then s/he disappears back up the street.

Hops, on the other hand, comes early evening or late night and sometimes pre-dawn to eat and sleep. There’s a warm spot in the garage/laundry under the piano where we’ve laid a soft doona that he snuggles on. In Summer he prefers the bread rack next to the washing machine for his night naps. Hopefully, once we have it set up, he’ll go for the little house…

UPDATE ON GIGI: Turns out Gigi is in fact a boy! He’s microchipped and was a rescue but the vet can’t say more than that. They will do a health check with the registered owner but obviously, they can’t share that information with me.