The forecast calls for some extremely cold weather to come down from Canadia into the midwestern states and as far down as South Texas, where I live. Typically, the cold air warms up by the time it gets to us. We rarely get freezing temperatures. We more rarely get snow. But, this is one of those years when we will see freezing temperatures. We have some outdoor cats in the neighborhood that I want to shelter. So, I have been working out how to make the shelters.
Before you ask, we are not letting the cats into our home. We aren't fond of fleas or cleaning cat litter.
What I need are plastic boxes, hay, insulation, and a radiant barrier.
I drove down to Wal-Mart to buy some plastic boxes, which cost about $16 for three.
Next, I went down to The Home Depot to find some type of foam insulation that I could fit in my Prius. This means that I'm not going to buy a big 4x8 sheet. Fortunately, I found some styrofoam insulation panels that easily fit in the car. That's about another $16.
I found some hay at the local Tractor Supply Company store for $18. But, I think I'm just going to cut the grass and use that.
That just leaves finding a radiant barrier. This is a metalic sheet that reflects radiant heat. Normally, The Home Depot has rolls of the stuff for installing in the attic. All I could find was a giant roll for $178. I might get that later when I'm ready to insulate the attic. For this project, I only need a small roll. I got bupkes. So, then I thought I could buy space blankets, also known as emergency blankets. These are mylar sheets. Walgreens was out. The local McCoy's hardware store had neither radiant barrier nor blankets. Tractor Supply didn't have any. So, I drove back to Wal-Mart to see if they had blankets in the camping section. Nope.
I was thinking that I would have to go to Academy, the sporting goods store, for the blankets. But, I realized that I could substitute aluminum foil as a radiant barrier. I have plenty of that. If it runs out, then it is readily available at the grocery store.
Tomorrow, I'll bring the materials in so that we can work on building three cat shelters. Tomorrow is the first day that all of us share the Christmas vacation. The activity will keep us entertained. It's one of those things that is work. But, it doesn't feel like work. It's more of a creative activity, like blogging.
I am thinking of buying podcasting gear at the local Guitar Center. We had started a podcast. But, things got complicated. It's on pause for now. But, we have the time. We could record some episodes and slowly release them in the coming weeks.
Going back to the cat shelters, I have been thinking that with more time we could build something more durable. They would not require much wood. And, we could even add radiant barriers with adjustable vents for the summer. We could have fun engineering cat shelters and perhaps even sell them. We might even venture into dog shelters. Maybe even chicken coops. Why not? It could be a fun side gig.