During the winter, the Animal Rescue League of Boston is reminding people to keep an eye out for stray animals, particularly community cats, who may be seeking shelter from cold or storms.
ARL has recently still seen several cases of homeless cats winding up in some curious places while trying to escape the nighttime chill.
Such cases include a stray cat worming its way into the basement of a multifamily home in Dorchester, and a mom and kittens found under a house in Roxbury.
In one of the more unusual cold-related cases seen recently by the ARL, a cat was found frozen to a shipping container outside a Dedham restaurant during a cold snap.
ARL was contacted by Dedham Animal Control Officer Jayson Tracy, after discovering the cat in the early morning hours stuck to the container outside of TGI Fridays along Providence Highway. The cat was carefully removed from the container, and brought to ARL’s Animal Care and Adoption Center in Dedham.
It’s likely that the cat, who was named Schooner, had wet fur and, because of real-feel temperatures well below freezing, once the cat came in contact with the container he was immediately stuck.
It’s unknown how long he was frozen to the container, according to an ARL press release, but he was thin, dehydrated and showing the typical bumps and bruises of living out,doors, which included a fractured tooth.
While at ARL in Dedham, Schooner ate ravenously and became a staff favorite for his easy-going and friendly demeanor. Schooner was placed in foster care for two weeks so he could continue to gain weight, had his fractured tooth removed, and was neutered. He found his forever home within hours of being listed as available for adoption.
Schooner is one lucky cat, but the ARL is reminding people that stray or outdoor cats may find all kinds of places to seek shelter in the cold and can then end up in trouble. These spots include window wells, space underneath porches, backyard woodpiles, sheds, and even the engine compartments of vehicles.
With approximately 700,000 community cats living throughout Massachusetts, ARL launched its Community Cat Initiative in 2018, and has helped thousands of animals in a variety of ways. For more information about the initiative click here.
They recommend building a DIY community cat shelter if you live in an area where community cats are prevalent. It’s cheap, easy, and could offer an animal a respite from the cold – for directions on how to build click here.