For most of us, winter is a time to stay indoors where it is warm and cozy. The weather this year seems particularly bad for most of the country. In the South, where I live, we’ve had many days of below freezing temperatures and the wind has been particularly harsh. We even received our first snow of the season yesterday (which isn’t a regular occurrence in this part of Georgia). So, even on sunny days, these conditions make it less desirable for us to spend much time outdoors. I’m really tired of winter and can’t wait to see the first daffodils pop up from my wonderful Southern garden.
It seems that this winter has gotten the best of my feral cats as well. They rarely venture off nowadays, but when they do, it’s only for an hour or so. Then, they quickly head back to our garage where they always have food and a warm bed waiting. For Momma kitty, she simply stays inside the garage in her bed during the winter. She will slowly leave her bed when one of her furry family members arrives. Being a Southern Belle, it’s only proper to greet family at the door when they arrive. However, the greeting is brief and she heads back to her warm bed as quickly as she can.
The only good that has come from this winter is the amount of time I get to spend with my feral kitties. Since they stay close at hand when the weather is cold, I get to see them more often. They will lie in their beds and allow me to sit or kneel beside them for longer periods of time. They will tolerate longer petting sessions as my hands are warm and it helps warm them. They will also help supervise the cleaning and organizing sessions that I typically perform during the winter. Since neither I, nor they, like the cold outside, we get to spend additional time together.
I’m fortunate that my kitties are actually semi-feral now instead of completely feral. They will tolerate me being in their space. All the kitties, except Natasha, will allow me to pet them while they are eating. In the winter, they will even allow me to pet them while they are lying in their beds. Even my aloof boy, Ash, has been sticking around more these days. He will visit each night for his dedicated petting session with me and to receive a few of his soft treats. This is usually a rare occurrence in the warm weather, as Ash is usually a loner. In warm weather, he will never hang out in the garage. As a matter of fact, he often leaves for several days to explore and sleeps in different areas around the neighborhood.
Since I’ve never had an indoor cat, I don’t know if my experiences hold true in the winter for them as well. I’ve heard that indoor cats often will be more loving and attentive during the cold weather. Perhaps they are looking for some extra cuddle time and warmth from their human companions. Maybe it’s because we are in the house for longer periods of time and are more accessible. Or, maybe it’s simply the fact that we notice our kitty family more since we are all trapped inside during the winter cold.
Whatever the case, I consider it to be a good thing. Any chance to spend more time with our kitty family is fine by me. It’s sometimes a challenge for us to slow down and take the time to enjoy all the love and attention our cats have to give. Maybe winter is meant as a time to take advantage of that quiet time together. You know what? Maybe those daffodils can wait a little longer after all.
Do you spend more time with your cats in winter? Share your stories in the comments.
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About Tim Link: All-American guy who loves to rock out to Queen while consuming pizza and Pinot Noir and prefers to associate with open-minded people who love all critters. Considers himself to be the literal voice for all animals. Author, writer, radio host, Reiki Master, Animal Communicator and consultant at Wagging Tales.