need ideas for an unusual shelter
For the first two or three days after he showed up with his injured tail in April, Mr. Casper, my stray, slept in his house, which is in my screened-in porch. Once he started to feel a little better, though, he refused to go back in. He must have gotten stuck somewhere and injured himself trying to get free, because he seems totally traumatized by the idea of being enclosed. I tried a few different cardboard boxes, a clear plastic storage tote, and then just put a couple of different beds and mats on the rug, some with heated pads inside. He wouldn't use any of them, even though it was chilly some nights. In fact, he didn't even want to stay in the porch; he took to sleeping on the doormat by the front door. People driving by late at night must think I'm the worst cat owner ever for leaving him out there when it's chilly.
In the past week, he's been sleeping in the porch again, on his little condo or on a mat that I can put a heating element in. It's supposed to get chilly next week, and at some point, it's going to be flat out cold. I have brought him in on very cold nights in the past, but he really hates being kept inside overnight - especially since the last 2 times I kept him in, the vet showed up the next morning to poke and prod him.
Any ideas about how to give him some sort of protection, at least from the wind, if he continues to reject his house? I suppose maybe I could cover the screens somehow? Or make a kind of lean-to? Gah. This cat.