I’ve had the Feral Villa in my yard for years now. The outdoor cats have always loved it, and it’s proven to be so popular in my yard that our band named our last album after it. This year I upgraded the villa and installed an outdoor heating pad. The pads are activated by body weight and the cats love it. All three cat houses now have the pads and I always wanted a photo showing it being used. But this is not quite what I had in mind.
Yesterday I caught Dash, our TNR’d feral grey cat that’s been in our yard since 2007, in the Rubbermaid bin shelter rather than one of our luxe heated cat houses. I laughed to myself and thought “cats want what they want,” and it goes to show how well they brave the elements if he’s going to choose a plastic storage bin over a wood house with a shingled roof. Normally he uses the Feral Villa because that is “his.” He stays apart from the other colony cats, who use the other cat houses together.
I told Jim about it and he also laughed. Then hours later we went out to dinner and he looked at me and said, “I bet that opossum is in the Feral Villa. That’s why Dash wasn’t using it.”
I stared at him for a beat and said, “You think Doggy is in the cat house?”
Jim didn’t know yet that I had named the opossum Doggy so he was completely amused and confused at the same time. We were at a place by our house called Handlebar that has a lot of posters on their walls advertising local rock shows. One of them was for a band called the doggiewoggies, or something like that, so we decided to name the possum Doggy Woggy.
And then we went home and I found out, as always, that Jim was right.
This is Doggy Woggy in the Feral Villa enjoying the black heating pad. You can open the villa from the top. He did not move at all during this, and didn’t even come out when I closed it.
I have no problem with this possum, but he can’t really move in like this. I mean, maybe he can, but I can’t have a possum family in the future. I live on a city lot, and my neighbors all have large dogs. I used to have a raccoon family visit all last summer to raid the garden. To discourage them from staying, my neighbor kept his outdoor lights on all night, played a radio, and I made sure not to leave cat food lying around, so they eventually moved on.
Also, I was feeling really bad for Dash. I felt better this morning, though, because when I opened up the villa I found Dash inside there again. He dashed out like a normal cat (cats don’t care about photo ops!) and glared at me for interrupting his morning nap.