I know it’s been stormy on your side of the Pond lately—we’ve been getting news stories of floods, high winds, and the like—but in between battening down the hatches and bailing water, please spare a moment for those of us in the eastern half of North America.
The last several winters have been mild by Canadian standards, so I was completely unprepared for this year’s chilly blasts, as warming in the Arctic drove the polar vortex southward, where it most definitely does not belong. The result? Months of unrelenting cold, punctuated by giant snow dumps.
We humans are coping reasonably well, as we have access to massive amounts of woollen garments (See? I told you there was a reason I knit obsessively!). And the dog doesn’t seem to mind the cold. In fact, I think this is her favourite time of year.
The cats, however, are deeply offended.
Sure, they’re indoor cats, but they’re sensitive, you see. And at the first sign of a draft, they start prowling around looking for warm(er) places to hide.
Ralph, in particular, seems to feel the cold more bitterly than any of the rest of us. And since he is a Siamese, when he feels unhappy, everyone feels unhappy. He has the typical Siamese yowl, and he doesn’t hesitate to share his dissatisfaction.
Last year we dug out a small electric space heater to help keep our family room warm of an evening. We quickly discovered that if we put Ralph’s sleeping mat in front of it, he’d shut the f*ck up and go to sleep, instead of wandering about the house doing a very realistic impression of a banshee.
But that was last year. This year, with its epic temperature drops, the heater alone just wasn’t cutting it. So to solve our Insane Howling Cat problem, we turned to science.
Physics, to be specific. We decided to use the principle of convection to create a small, warm space, big enough to accommodate Ralph (and Stella, if she chose to join him).
Thus was born the CatCooker5000™.
Essentially, it’s a cardboard box with a chimney hole cut in the back, which draws the hot air. The first version worked pretty well, but the only box we had on hand was a little cramped for two kitties.
But when we bought a new set of stereo speakers this weekend, we realized that the box they came in would be much more satisfactory.
I don’t think it would pass the Martha Stewart Beautiful Homes test, but we don’t care. Because listening to a Siamese cat yowl about the cold is a bit like banging your head against a brick wall: it feels really good when it stops.