The Midwest is in the grips of a late summer heatwave. After the last few weeks of cooler than average weather, it makes this heat seem even worse than it normally would be. Today is miserable; the evening news is on in the other room and I can hear the weatherman saying it was 94 degrees today but it feels like it is over 100! Good ol’ Chicago humidity making it feel hotter than it really is. When it gets hot like this I always worry about my girls. Mama and Little Black are smart cats, they have survived years of heat waves and cold snaps and all sorts of extreme weather. They are tough girls and they know how to survive.
That doesn’t lessen my desire to care for them, nor my need to worry about them. They are my girls after all. Even if Mama flees at the mere sight of my sometimes. Poor dear. Last summer I got them to sprawl on some ice packs covered with towels and catnip. That seemed to help cool them off for a bit in the worst of the afternoon heat. I needed something else though, something that would stay cold longer than an ice pack. I was thrilled when I discovered the Cooling Pet Pad. It is designed for dogs, but is perfect for outdoor cats. It starts to cool once pressure is applied. Meaning you don’t have to worry about it thawing before the cats even get to it, and it is ALWAYS cold when they do find it. And not too cold, just enough to cool down an overheated animal on a hot day. Best of all, it is environmentally friendly. No electricity, no water, no need even to recharge, just The Green Pet Shop’s patent pending formula. You can put it in the freezer or refrigerator to help make it super cool, or speed up recharging (after a long day in the heat, I like to put it in the ‘fridge just to quick start the process)
The Green Pet Shop, manufactures of the Cool Pet Pad have the following product description on their website: Our Patent-Pending Cooling Bed is the only one that doesn’t need water or electricity. The cooling pad is weight or pressure activated. As soon as your pet lies down, the cooling effect starts. And it lasts for up to four hours (depending upon conditions)! You can put it in the refrigerator to super cool it and it will be cooler & last longer. The padrecharges automatically after a short period of non-use. You can supercool your pad by putting it in the refrigerator or freezer and it will last up to 6 hours.
I love this product. I tried it out at work before buying it. All you have to do is gently squeeze it to feel the pad cool off. I love that while it is cool, it is not cold. Cats don’t like cold, cats like cool. I don’t have to recharge it, but I can if I want to. Since I have far too many cats on my plate right now, the less I have to do for each of them the better. I don’t have to worry if I forget to bring the pad in after a long day. The cats will still have a cool place the following day. I don’t have to remember to plug it in, or refill it in the mornings before I go to work, potentially wasting water and/or energy for the majority of the hours they are not using it. Here it was, a product that would help keep my cats cool, require minimal work from me, ease my anxiety over them on hot summer days, and it was environmentally friendly. I hit the jackpot! So I picked it up when it was on sale at work (even better!) I then squirreled it away in the basement till summer. Literally days later our basement flooded with four feet of water and sewage. The cool pet pad disappeared in the clean up. So, after some debate, I bought a second pad. Summer rolled around and I was so excited for our first hot day. I spread the pad out and waited. As far as I can tell no one used it. Not once. Maybe they walked across it and decided it was too cold. Maybe it felt funky on their paws. Maybe they deemed it unsafe. But I could not find one cat hair stuck on that pad (which has a nylon-ish cover that can just be wiped off. But cat hair sticks to everything! EVERYTHING!)
I debated whether I should bother. Given that I had purchased two Cool Pet Pads just for these crazy cats outside, and given that I worry about them every heat wave, I decided it didn’t hurt anything to just throw the pad on the deck. So I did. There was an old towel hanging out on the deck as well, so I tossed that on the pad, thinking “why not?” Little Black was bopping around, watching me and wondering what I was doing. She does this frequently so I thought nothing of it. I walked away, figuring it was just one more fruitless effort to please cats. When I looked out the window a few minutes later I saw this.
I was floored. I ran to grab my phone just to capture this moment forever! Seriously, I was that thrilled! She stayed there long enough to make me happy. Today, I left it out even though there were no cats to be found when I put it down. As I was replenshing their water this afternoon Mama came out of the house and started darting around the deck. I figured she was looking for food or maybe clean water. When I looked out to see if she was drinking from either of the bowls of ice water I saw this:
After I scrapped my jaw off the floor–Mama, using the Cool Pet Pad; Mama, not in her house! Mama, out in the open!–I ran to grab my camera and snapped a few pics of a very anxious looking Mama cat. She sprawled there, her sides heaving with her heavy breathing. When I came back a while later she was sprawled out on the deck next to the pad. Knowing that I have this realatively cheap, easy to use product for my cats has made my summer so much less stressful. And made the cats cooler. One purchase making the cats and the human happy makes for a great purchase!