Hiss, he’s blind, and his buddy, PJ (Prince John) live together. They are totally bonded. Hiss was rescued when a neighbor moved after her husband died.
The new owner’s were a house flipping company doing major construction renovations. Hiss and his guide-cat buddy, PJ, were no longer welcome. No one knew Hiss was blind during the years he lived near that home. The stress of age and the confusion when his world changed set off severe IBD that only responds to one prescription diet.
Due to his age and difficulty in locating food and litter in a new situation, along with needing a special diet, being dependent on his friend PJ, and years of living only outdoors, we provide them with a special catio-shelter combination that keeps them safe and comfortable. The upset of another change could jeopardize Hiss’s life, based on his severe reaction to being moved to Catnip Casa.
Our special catio-shelter combination contains shelves for climbing and a real tree limb to climb and scratch too. The framework for our condos inside and out come from CD Pets. Their quality is far beyond what we can build ourselves. Plus, saving time is critical when we have so many animals needing hands-on care.
Winter – The bottom half has sheets of clear plexiglass attached to the structure to protect from rain and wind, while still allowing us to see in and them to receive sunlight. The south side is open to a garden area with a bird and squirrel feeders. Even a blind cat enjoys hearing the familiar sounds of nature. During the winter, the insulated Feral Villa provides a comfortable home for sleeping up off the ground in comfort. The Feral Villa houses are made in Indiana and designed to take more cold than we get in Texas. Still, we add a self-warming blanket for comfort and warmth too. Hiss and PJ also have heated food and water bowls to insure winter comfort.
Summer – Sun shade fabric and/or vine covering (cat-safe artificial vines with sunscreen backing) on all sides can lower the temperature by up to 20 degrees and offer protection in rainy weather too. We also have a very special way of adding additional cooling when it’s too humid to use a mister fan. Large frozen detergent bottles are placed on the top shelf inside the Feral Villa (open the image gallery in the link and look at the middle image to see the shelf and insulation inside the house) insulated house. The detergent bottles are huge bottles that freeze solid and do not thaw out completely, even when out there for many hours. The insulation keeps the ice from melting too fast and the cool air flows down onto the floor underneath, making a cool, shady place to lay. Of course, the kitties can come up on the shelf inside the house and lay next to the cold bottle–or in the same compartment–too. In the hottest weather, we change the ice mid-afternoon and leave it there until the temperature drops in the late evening.
We use rechargeable camping lights for night work. The shelter is roofed with a reflective white roof to also help with temperature moderation. In addition, predator proof flooring keeps the shelter clean and safe, while a catch-door provides added insurance Hiss can’t get out during cleaning or social visits. Since he’s totally blind, that’s extremely important. Fortunately, Hiss can be handled carefully. His buddy, PJ, is very feral. Still, they are bonded. Hiss owes his life to PJ, from all those years PJ protected Hiss out on the street. We’ll respect that and keep them together as long as they are both alive.