Featured image credit: Philip Rogich, who is also known as the Batman of Ogden
This winter, one man in Utah has been trying to make a difference by transforming old coolers into insulated shelters for feral cats.
(TMU) — For the homeless, the coming of winter can turn an already desperate situation into a harrowing, months-long fight for survival. But it’s not just humans who are vulnerable—stray cats and dogs also struggle to find food and shelter in cold and frosty conditions.
But this winter, one man in Utah has been trying to make a difference by transforming old coolers into warm, insulated shelters for feral cats to find refuge from harsh, cold conditions.
Philip Rogich, who is also known as the Batman of Ogden, began building the shelters in November as a means to provide much-needed homes to feral cats in his community. So far, he’s managed to build 150 “cat coolers” around the Riverdale and Ogden region, he told Good News Network.
Cat woman and I want to help her four legged friends this winter. We are making these temporary Winter shelters for…
Speaking to KSTU, Philip said with a smile:
“Normally the cooler keeps things cold. We’re going to use it to keep animals warm.”
Philip explained how his DIY project is hardly labor-intensive, and only requires five minutes of work, an old cooler, and a few basic supplies.
Using a drill, Philip cuts a hole into the cooler’s side. He then lines the holes with pipe insulation foam before creating cozy environs for the feral felines by filling the cooler with straw for bedding—a much safer alternative to using towels or blankets, which can get wet and freeze in stormy conditions.
“Straw has been used for hundreds of years as bedding for animals and that’s because it has the ability to dry out,” Philip said.
“And there you go! A cat cooler. Two or three cats could fit in a cooler this size!”
For those of you following my Cat Coolers. I’ve had some reports from the field and talked to some feral cat experts. …
Feral cats often provide a crucial service for humans because they help keep rodent problems in check in urban communities. However, the winter cold can sap animals of their energy, leading to an inability to scrounge up their next meal, and eventually sickness and infections.
But Philip isn’t the only person in his community to show compassion toward the vulnerable creatures—neighbors have come to him with offers of old coolers and straw, while local thrift store Savers has also told him that they will give him any unsold coolers left when the spring comes.
Productive Cat cooler day. Built 13 shelters all will be out by the end of the day. Took in 10 old coolers with 10…
“[Feral cats] just disappear, get overlooked.
They get cold in the wintertime too.
They’re living creatures… to me, living creatures, they deserve to have their basic needs met.
I’m giving them a second chance, one way or another.”
While just one person is incapable of saving the tens of millions of stray cats across the U.S., Philip’s labor of love shows that one person can make a crucial difference for abandoned or homeless kittens and cats who would otherwise be forced to contend with the frigid, freezing, and frosty conditions of winter.