Continuing with the subject of tube socks (see previous post, from JULY!) here is another great use for these inexpensive tubular textiles: kitty warmers! I first saw tube socks filled with rice used to warm animals at a spay/neuter clinic in Kernersville, NC. Every animal coming out of surgery was snuggled up to its own little warmer. These were heated in an autoclave kept for that purpose and wrapped in surgical towels that were washed after each use. Here is a website with directions for making rice socks for human use, and rescue folks should feel free to do just that.....warm up a rice sock and drape it around your neck to help you relax after a stressful day! http://ajtroxell.com/ultimate-relaxation-the-rice-sock/ Our current 'special needs foster kitty,' Miss Lady, who's staying in a big ol' kennel in the garage is using a rice sock that I warm several times a day. Her little bedroom is staying comfy warm until the ice storm is only a memory and she is ready to return to her home.
We have had a couple of scary-cold spells in the past month. (OK, northern friends, please don't mock our weather....) We've had wind chills into the low single digits! I experimented with pocket hand warmers for the feral cat shelters on those nights--a couple of warmers per shelter. The hand warmers are available from discount stores for about .79 a pair. Removed from their packaging and shaken briskly, a chemical reaction takes place that warms the little packet for 10 hours (according to the package information). I need to test this, but the feral cats seemed to use their shelters as usual and were none the worse for wear after the cold snap.
Another example of a pet bed warmer is pictured below: a microwaveable Frisbee-shaped warmer. The photo shows one that costs about $25, with other similar warmers priced up to $40. The higher initial price may be balanced by the long life of this warmer, which can be reused many, many times. The warmer is made of heavy plastic with a gel insert that retains heat for up to 10 hours. On a visit to Cape Fear Spay Neuter Clinic yesterday I saw the clinic staff carrying these warmers around to keep the chill at bay. There was definitely an ice storm brewing, and the animals and staff both enjoyed a little extra warmth.