Keep the critters warm and safe when the thermometer dips below zero.

   My husband Bruce works at an area school. This week during what can only be described as a "deep freeze", he heard a noise outside one of the seldom used doors. Worried that it might be a person struggling to open the door, he cautiously cracked it open, meeting some resistance. He found to his surprise that there were two deer lying against the door trying to get a smidgeon of warmth and some shelter from the wind. When wild animals accustomed to nature in all its seasons are feeling the effects of 58 below zero wind chills, imagine how domestic dogs and cats would fare in the extreme cold.

   So, if you are a dog owner, please please keep  Fido  safely indoors. Walks are necessary when nature calls, but dress yourself warmly and be quick about it. Protective booties and sweaters may work with some dogs but not with our collies. They disdain those silly boots and refuse to wear them, so our thrice daily walks are short and fast. It really bothers me to see cat footprints in the snow on these frigid days. Don't let your cat outside. I know litter boxes  can be a pain, but they are the best solution for your cat's potty needs. Cats will crawl into engine compartments seeking the warmth from block heaters. We recently took in a kitten which had been torn up badly, likely from a fan when the vehiclle was started.

   Stay warm and curl up with a critter or two. The winter of 2013 will soon be history, won't it??