Our indoor cats love to find a spot in a sunny window and take a nap, no matter how hot it may be outside. It’s a different world for the ferals and semi-ferals in the great outdoors, though. They love a sunny spot on a cool day but it’s deep shade and cool, damp ground in a hot Texas summer.
We only have 2 feral cats remaining from the large colony we tended, but the onset of hot weather reminded us of the days when we worked to make the hot summers as comfortable as possible for the larger colony. We made sure water was always available and routinely hosed down shady areas. When the cats saw us grab the hose they would gather in a crowd, waiting for a damp, shady spot to rest.
This photo was taken in the midst of a drought several years ago. You can see the cats clustered in a small spot of grass we kept damp. One other cat is cuddled up to the water tub. The angle of the tree trunk shadows shows it was late evening on a mid-summer day, so it was right after my evening tub filling and ground dampening. The effects of the drought are clearly visible in the otherwise brown yard.
Occasionally a female cat would deliver kittens up on the deck and keep them there despite the heat. We did our best to keep the kittens cool. Here you see Stoney and Wally napping in the shade of a potted Comfrey plant, lying on a towel we kept damp.
Other cats clustered in the shade of the oaks, sometimes with deer as company. It’s hard to tell, but I’m betting that it’s The 3 Musketeers (Duff, Robin, and Scamper) in the grass with the deer.
Rosemary plants were favorite places to seek shade. Here you see aptly-named Sage taking an afternoon break. I’m not sure where Parsley and Thyme were at the moment.
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