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  1. I think its great that you take care of porch kitty…I had a little kitten that we fed for a while too..loved that little guy – our house cat did not. We took him to the Humane Society in hopes of finding him a home…it was the worst decision, because they put him down instead. That’s a mistake I won’t make again. Glad your husband is ok with you feeding strays – mine is not…

    1. Ugh that breaks my heart Cheryl. I would never take them to the shelter ever again either. This kitty has a much better life on my porch. I only did that once myself because I had no choice. I found a cat in my bushes and there was clearly something wrong with it. I cried and I cried but I ended up taking it to the shelter from where I had adopted one of my cats. I couldn’t risk my cats getting sick. They told me they would quarantine it and see.
      My husband’s cousin is a vet and at her office they always say, there is no such thing as a NO-KILL shelter. They all do!
      My hubby complains occasionally about feeding the cats but not much 😉

    2. While there may not be a no kill shelter, there are definitely no-kill rescues. I have worked at several now. They are always non-profits and work very hard with and for the kitties that they adore as much as the forever homes that will adopt them.

    3. Yes, you are right Courtney and I adore those non-profit organizations. They do work hard and give everything they can. But I also know from a lot of people and friends that they turn a lot of people away who find cats or want to give up cats because they simply can’t help them all. And then those cats end up at the kill shelters. It’s so sad

  2. What a lucky porch kitty! I do like Thanksgiving but these days its obliterated by Christmas! Uggh..

    You don’t have to be religious to have a good heart:) There are so many blogs I stopped reading because there was way too much of it.. What matters to me is kindness to others and tolerance..

  3. That’s so so sweet! I can’t understand non cat lovers. They just haven’t been with the right cat because ours are so kind and loving. And I love me some man-cat cuddle action 😉 Great idea with the igloo! Your porch kitty thanks you

  4. Love this post – cats and a hot guy, what’s not to love! 16 years ago I adopted 2 cats, one stray and one from a shelter. When I moved from Texas to Austria, they came with me. My (Austrian) boyfriend always says they can only meow in English and never made an effort to learn German. Sadly, we lost one of our furry friends last summer and it still feels like it happened just yesterday. Thanks for your post and for helping out your Porch Kitty.

    1. Thanks Alison. Meowing in English, that’s funny!
      Sorry about your kitty. One of mine just passed away last spring so I totally know what you mean. This will be our first Christmas without him. I will miss him so much under the tree this year.

  5. Ok as if I wasn’t obsessed with James Franco enough… now you have to let me know he loves cats!??? AND post numerous pictures of him HOLDING cats?? And some without his shirt on?? You seriously just made my day:) Ok now that I’m done with my James Franco rant… I just love what you’ve done for your sweet porch kitty. I know you’ve been struggling with what to do with him/her over the winter months and I think this is a purrrfect (<<sorry, I couldn’t resist) compromise. You two obviously have such a bond and it’s just too precious! This just melts my heart:):)

    xo, amy

  6. Just wanted to say Thank You for being a kind person! Porch Kitty & I love you for that!! I recently had one of my cats/kids pass away so this touched my heart. Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. I believe spiritual IS religious. And I very recently lost my precious ‘Sugar The Maine Coon’ and it was extremely difficult for me. I will send you a photo of him just before he died…….. he was such a perfect baby boy.

  8. First, thanks for being “brave” and throwing it out there your non-religious stance. I am N.O.T. either and have been debating whether or not to share that. You can be non-religious AND still be a nice person, right?? It’s a strange concept to most people. Second, “You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.”― Paul McCartney

  9. Oh Julia! I just adore you. As you know I’m totally not a cat person, but I certainly don’t want to see any harm or maltreatment come to them or any animal for that matter. I think it’s so awesome how much love you show your porch pal. He/she’s so lucky to have you. You have such an amazing heart. No wonder I adore you so much:)

  10. Love you even more now. I work with a rescue here in Minnesota. If my husband were no longer around, I would be one of those crazy hoarders because I would adopt them all.

  11. So first of all, James Franco is a hottie, and those cat pictures are absolutely hilarious! I’m more of a dog person but would totally buy a calendar it if he’s in it 😉

    Second, you are such a sweetheart! Porch kitty is so lucky to have someone who cares. I bet he/she feels like royalty with her elevated heated house 🙂

  12. Oh my gosh, Julia! You are so sweet! I have a love for all things cat anyways, but seeing James Franco snuggling totally melted my heart! I agree about men that snuggle with animals…swoon! 🙂 Love the little igloo you made…so sweet! xo

  13. Lol, James Franco! I totally have a cute picture of my husband snuggling with my cat too 🙂 Need to dig it up and post it!

    I love that you are so sweet to your porch kitty! My parents have outdoor farm cats, and I’m always advocating for their comfort 🙂 My parents are softies too though, so there’s always warm blankets and things for them, and if it gets too cold (infrequent here in TX) they get to spend the night in the laundry room.

  14. Love to read about your cats! I have a cat rescue/sanctuary at my home and currently have 16 cats/kittens there. Here in the South the stray cat population is enormous and I cannot turn any away. Besides those at the house, I have a mama cat and two older kittens at my work that I take care of. Bless you for watching out for porch kitty! I had a tom tabby that hung around for a couple years – I could not ever touch him, but he trusted me enough to be waiting to be fed and stayed close.
    Here’s another solution for outdoor kitties: http://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Kitty-House-Heated/dp/B004ZJOH06/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385580347&sr=8-1&keywords=heated+cat+house
    Bless you for loving the kitties!

  15. I used to raise hogs and they make heat mats for the piglets. But that was years ago. When my grown son saw that we have outside cats that we have adopted, but stay outside, he brought over one of the hog mats and we plug that in every winter. We have an old window over the top propped up with bricks so the cats and crawl under on the heat and not get wet. Of course they have fancy ‘cat houses’ too, but without heat.

  16. We also have a “porch kitty” who turns into a garage kitty when it gets cold. We make him a bed and put a heating pad under it also. He “technically” belongs to someone else but when you leave a cat out 24 hours a day, 365 days a year I no longer consider you it’s owner. If you can’t give an animal shelter and food on a regular basis you should adopt it out to someone who will. Kuddos to you for being a good person!

  17. You have a heart of gold. I have 3 rescue dogs and there was a stray cat that I had been feeding until one of my neighbors too him in. I’m not a cat person (my husband is), but the stray cat really won me over. If it weren’t for my dogs I would have kept him.

  18. This is wonderful!! I always want to care for every stray cat I meet. I should just build a couple of these and keep them on hand. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  19. Our cats love to be outside, but it gets wet and cold here and sometimes the little stinkers will not come in. I’d love to have something warm and dry for them to snuggle up in. What sort of cord did you use?

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  20. You are so sweet Julia, I had to share your story with my mom (she is scared of cats but she loves what you are doing for this kitty), it’s amazing what you’ve done and you are a wonderful person for taking time to take care of this kitty 🙂 I’m sure every morning he is really happy to see you and he considers you as his owner 🙂 I love how cats and dogs are so thankful when you take care of them 🙂
    will be reading your Friday post for sure, our Thanksgiving was back in October 😉

  21. So sweet! We tried to take in a stray cat once, but he hated our dogs. Nick’s dad kept him at their office. It’s a much longer story than that, but that cat was pretty incredible and proves that whole 9 lives thing. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 😉

  22. My sister and I started a feral cat rescue group in our city and have been rescuing cats for as long as I can remember. I use the same outdoor heating padyour using in the cat house on my front porch. Three strays seem to have made our porch their home. We put up plastic to keep the wind and rain out as well. My husband is an animal person and is quick to help me build anything the cats need to keep them warm. It warms my heart to hear other people caring so much for these poor animals. Thanks for sharing.

  23. I love your heart for animals! And this igloo thing is COMPLETE brilliance. I am so impressed with you, my friend! <3 I’m lobbying Andy to let me take in a stray kitty. I’d probably have a better shot if they ended up on my door like they do with you! Hmmm. Maybe I need to sneak one here. 🙂

  24. High five and hugs! What always surprises me is how many people actually hate cats. What’s there to hate????
    Mine is returning affection now and I’m humbled by the trust that grows everyday 🙂

  25. You have such a kind heart, Julia and those pictures of that sweet kitty are just the cutest! He/she is so lucky to have found you. Love you dear friend! And thanks for the eye candy this morning…you know I love it! 😉

  26. I am a huge cat lover, and, over the years, have taken care of many, many homeless cats. I currently have 9 adopted (indoor) cats.

    I would love to be able to share your link on my Facebook page, since I think your idea about the heated cat shelter is incredible!

    However, as an elementary school teacher, I have to be careful about what links I put on my Facebook page. Some people I know would be offended by the James Franco Photoshopped pictures (created by an Ellen staffer) that you posted at the top of your page. You MIGHT want to consider removing them. I know I’ll get blasted for being a prude, but I really think the pictures might be keeping quite a few people from sharing your suggestions. Terrific idea for keeping outdoor cats warm, though.

    1. Hi. I’m so so sorry that those photos might cause an issue on your Facebook page! I love that you are taking care of so many cats.

      But the post is actually already one of my most popular posts because it’s been featured a couple of times and people have loved it the way it is. I totally understand your concern as a teacher though.

      But I might have a solution for you. You can share it from the Hometalk Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Hometalk) page which takes your followers back to the Hometalk website and only then they could click on my page. They will see all the other photos without James Franco on my Hometalk profile. I didn’t include it on that page.

      I hope this is a solution for you 😉

  27. That is so awesome! I myself have 2 different stray cats who come for food and shelter on my porch but I never thought of putting a heating pad in my little makeshift enclosure! I did put an old winter coat as a layer of insulation to try and stave off the bitter Quebec winter cold but now you’ve given me ideas. 🙂

  28. I thought James Franco was good looking, but knew nothing about him beyond his acting…after this, I’m definitely a fan!
    I love the kitty bed – we’ve moved to Nebraska in the last year, and although I haven’t seen any stray or feral cats, I know they are there. So I’ve been looking at ways to make some shelters for them easily – this totally fits the bill!
    One suggestion I found from a local rescue would work, particularly if you don’t have a way to run electric for the bed….put the styrofoam cooler inside a plastic tub (cut holes through both), and then fill the space between the cooler and the tub with hay. Hay is a WONDERFUL insulator. Also, if at all possible, you should cut a hole in each side of the box. I know it seems like it would let a lot of the warmth out, but it gives the kitty who is IN the box an out if a more aggressive cat (or something like a raccoon or possum) comes in through one door.
    And…I hope you have managed to take your porch kitty in to get vaccinated and spayed/neutered? I’m sure the last thing you want is to add to the feral population. It really warms my heart whenever I see someone “regular” (not associated with an organized rescue) doing things to help the ferals. 🙂

    1. James Franco is crazy 😉 Love him!

      You are right about spaying and neutering!

      I also have a plastic container with the styrofoam cooler but you should never put hay in it only straw. The rescue organizations say that the straw is hollow and a better insulator and doesn’t give problems in case it gets wet.

  29. I wish everyone had such a big heart as you. It warms my heart what you do for those poor cats. Thank you… faith in humanity restored haha

    1. Thanks 🙂 I just wish my hubby would think the same way as I do. He always says you can’t help all of them. Which drives me nuts and I tell them that’s true but I can help the ones that cross my path, right? And I need him to support that 😉

  30. Just liked your site on Facebook. I am a cat lover and regularly have the local ‘latch-key’ cat visiting us. I will try and make the heated igloo for him this winter (am in Oz).

  31. Love your post. I have little cat houses on my front deck with warm fleece blankets in them for my 2 kitties, but I also have one on the outside of my deck which has a gate on it to keep local dogs from bothering my cats for strays to use. I would be interested to know what kind of warming pad you are using. My husband put electric light sockets in each one that I could put a 15 or 40 watt bulb in depending on the weather, but I heard that some people lost homes because of the bulbs getting too hot and bursting starting a fire. I would love to know there is an alternative that I can leave on for long periods of time without risking my home. Thanks and good for you for giving us these ideas. My sister did the styrofoam house thing for strays.

    1. Hi and sorry that I didn’t see this message earlier. When I receive messages that are anonymous they sometimes end up in the spam folder. Sorry again. I bought my heating pad on Amazon. I probably wouldn’t recommend the light bulbs either because of the fire hazard issue. They get incredibly hot. The pad I use only heats when something is on it.
      Good luck

  32. I wish we would have found your blog earlier! We live in North Western Ontario Canada, where it is winter 6 months out of the year, at least. We have a stray cat that is living behind our office. I work for my dad and we are both cat lovers, so seeing this kitty outside everyday is heart breaking, we have tried to bring her inside, however she absolutely hates it and wants back outside. Before it go too bitterly cold my dad, the kind soul he is built her a home. He used a cardboard box with lots of packing tape around it to waterproof it, lined it with styrofoam and wrapped a large comforter around it, we also tossed an old blanket inside. The house is now covered in snow, which would add some insulation. The office cat, which we now call Bruce, even though she is female, has been surviving our brutally cold winter in that house and with the food we feed her. She is always waiting at the back door of our office for us to get there in the morning so she can have some water, and wet food. She has managed the -50 temperatures we have had, and without us I am sure she would have died. I love seeing that others care for animals that aren’t necessarily “theirs”. They sure do rely on us to keep them alive and they become part of your life. We look forward to seeing Bruce in the morning and hearing her cry for our company during the day. We all take breaks to go outside and pet her and give her treats!

    1. Awww thank you so much Jenna for being there for Bruce. Stories like this just warm my heart. Maybe Bruce can get a heating pad for next Christmas 😉 They go on sale in the summer and are pretty amazing. I can’t believe you have -50 winters in Canada.
      Keep it up and thanks so much for your comment.

  33. actually you should be able to get some of those styrofoam boxes from a pet store (they have fish shipped in those usually, thts where I got mine for food) and I bet if you explain to one of the workers what you are doing, they’d come up with a few of them (in our areas, most of the workers there are university students in vet science)

  34. Oh lovely Julia…it’s me again (this time i’m writing english because i’m not really shure you still understand german;-))
    This post almost made me cry (to be honest I do have some tears in my eyes). I am so in to all animal saving/protecting/rescuing-things and always feel a BIG (real BIG) relief to read or see others feeling and doing the same. And I am also enormous grateful for people making small changes instead of not making any change because of “you can never save them all…”
    So THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART for being such a lovely, kind and soulful women!! Sharing these things on your blog really makes you very special and I shure will be a follower the next minute!
    Wishing you all the best and sending you a lot of animal-loving-greetings from Switzerland
    Janine

    1. Thank you so much! I get so annoyed when my husband says “you can’t save them all” but I can sure try to save the ones in my backyard, right?
      I’m so happy to find likeminded people. And I sure can still speak and understand German 😉
      Have a good one!

    2. Oh und ich habe Deinen Kommentar auf meinem Katzenauslaufpost per email bekommen aber kann es auf dem Post nicht finden. Vielen vielen Dank für die lieben Worte und viel Glück mit der Spielwand.
      Bis bald, Julia

  35. This is brilliant. My father has a Porch Kitty of his own (I have SIX indoor cats at home) and I’d love to make him something like this for the upcoming cold weather!
    It warms my heart to see people doing good; we have many advocates for people, but not enough for our furry, four-legged friends.
    God bless you, ma’am.

    1. Thank you Sara, I love hearing from like minded people. Monkey isn’t a porch kitty anymore. She is quite spoiled now and comes inside whenever she wants. Love her!

  36. We have a stray cat that showed up about a year ago and was living under our shed, so of course I named him shed kitty! I always put food out for him but he wouldn’t let us get close to him until recently and now he lets us touch him!
    I never take strays to the shelter! We are usually able to find someone with a farm, ranch or barn that will take them.

    1. I love how much trust they can put into humans again after having been abandoned and disappointed. It takes a lot of time but they come around again and it melts my heart.

  37. I have a little kitty that has adopted us. She started coming to my backyard last year…I’m the only neighbor without a dog, so it is a safe environment. My neighbor feeds all the feral’s in our neighborhood and sees to their medical needs, but this little one preferred us. I began feeding her and talking to her daily. She was in good health so I just thought she was visiting but as winter came and went, it was apparent she was abandoned. (She has a clipped ear so I know someone cared for her at one time.) I told my Hubby that she was now our outdoor kitty and we would take care of her. We do have an indoor kitty (strictly indoor) but the two don’t seem to care for each other. Also my indoor kitty has a virus that I wouldn’t want outdoor kitty to catch so they need to be kept separate. Now that winter is coming again, we need a more permanent solution for keeping her warm and dry. I thought about a dog house, but I think I will try this first. She has become friendly to Hubby and I and will let us pet her (insists on it actually) but will not yet let us hold her. In time I’m sure she will…..Thanks for the idea.

    1. Awww how sweet. Poor little kitty that she was abandoned. It’s hard for them to once be loved and then just dumped. I hope you can find a warm solution. I just actually saw a heated house on our local facebook yardsale page. They make them similar to this and heated. That would be wonderful too.

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