Using natural products that can be sourced and “gathered” in time honored fashion, a community of like-minded people who want to have some fun together while doing something good, can now help to make the feral cats of New York a bit more comfortable in winter. The materials for this project are to be gathered from Central Park we are told. Sounds intriguing.
This is a project, “Giving Shelter”, organized by Architects for Animals in what appears to be a collaboration with the Mayor’s office under a scheme called Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals. A group of architects who call themselves Pilot Projects were asked to get involved in the creation of a cat shelter for a colony of feral cats living in Central Park. Other architects were assigned other locations in New York. If I have that wrong, please correct me.
I am unsure about the planning requirements etc of building feral cat shelters in New York. I am sure it is completely acceptable. It should actual improve the environment. Although all people who help feral and stray cats should be aware that some people hate feral cats and therefore dislike people who help them.
Pilot Projects came up with a Native American wigwam design as a cat shelter that inspires the imagination. You can see the full specification in this interesting and excellent drawing on this page (when you get to the page you can click on the drawing to see the full spec in a downloadable PDF file). Here is an extract which I have taken the liberty to publish here:
What I really like about this design and project is that it does more that help cats who need our help and for whom we are responsible.. There is an educational element and it should help to create teamwork in children. The fact that it is made from naturally occurring items also appeals. I like recycling and sustainability.
I presume it has already been built and we are told that it is in a secret location. Is it possible to have a secret location in Central Park? Perhaps it is construction.
Examples of the superb efforts of other architects involved can be seen in the picture below:
Kathryn Walton is a member of The American Street Cat. I particularly like her design as it is partly made of recycled aluminium tin cans that have been filled with insulating material.
I feel that these projects to provide shelter for NY’s feral cats is an example of what the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, would call “the big society”. It is a collaborative effort from business and people unconnected with business and also younger members of society. It appears to pull together all the elements of society positively including feral cats, who are a part of our society whether we like it or not.
The motto for Pilot Projects is “Co-create a better world“. I like that. I’d like to thank Dorothy Wandruff (dw) for pointing this project out to me.