I am thinking of the feral cats of Chicago during the Polar Vortex

Polar Vortex and cats
Polar Vortex – extraordinary temperatures and dangerous. Freezing steam inside a home.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I can’t help thinking about the feral and stray cats of Chicago during the brutally cold temperatures caused by the Polar Vortex. We hear of advice to humans to stay inside and that the temperatures are so low at -50 (including wind chill) or thereabout. Minus 20 seems to be the standard at this time. This is in Fahrenheit which is -29 degrees Celsius. It’s cold enough, they say, to cause frostbite in the fingers in ten minutes under certain circumstances. It’s colder than Antarctica!

Mark Powell posted a video of his hallway after he had a shower. The steam from the shower had drifted into the hallway and had instantly frozen on the ceiling and walls! It is astonishing. Hell, his home must be chilly πŸ™‚


And these guys put a jumper on a balcony railing:

But what about the outdoor cats? They have got to be dying. We hear amazing stories of stray cats being frozen to the ground for ages, being rescued and surviving but these Chicago temperatures are different. I can’t see them surviving unless they find cover and warmth somewhere.

Livingston Daily reports an example of a cat dying of hypothermia in minus 16 degree F conditions:

“The cat was almost frozen to death when the woman called. She’d seen the animal walking through her back yard. It looked like a stray. Livingston County Animal Control Deputy J.D. Delatorre tried to save its life Tuesday, ‘I brought the cat into my vehicle to take it to a vet, but unfortunately it passed away,’ he said. A veterinarian later found the cat had suffered from hypothermia.

Online news media does contain many articles about helping these cats. CBS Local has some nice suggestions:

  • Put dry food down as wet will freeze
  • If possibly bring a stray cat inside into a utility room or basement of your home for temporary shelter until the freeze subsides. I think it is due the end soon.
  • Make an insulated, waterproof shelter. I have written about this years ago.
  • You can buy pre-fabricated shelters from Tree House, a cat rescue in Chicago. They cost between $25 and $35. The money goes to helping cats.
  • You can take a stray cat to a cat shelter. This may require trapping etc., which may be beyond the typical citizen.

I feel that feral and stray cats have to be removed from the extremely cold air outside some way or other if they are to survive the next few days.

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