We got our cat 3 years ago when it came on our homestead from places unknown during the winter. For a while it did fine outside until it got cold. Real cold. At 20 below we noticed it looking in our window on a daily basis. You could feel the sense of urgency in its face, even though we were feeding it by that time. We made it a box outside and lined it with bedding and blocked it from the wind which it used every night. It got colder, and we cracked the door open and it would come in...for just a second...then it would run back outside again. It knew it was flirting with death from the relentless cold and yet it was afraid. Face the cold or face these people was its choice.. Eventually the cat figured out we meant it no harm, it moved in on a permanent basis and its been spoiled ever since.
Well a new cat has been on patrol this year. We saw it on the edge of our lawn which melds into wilderness a few times this fall before the snow fell. We had hoped it had a home and was just visiting...but the tracks in the snow tell a different story. I knew it would be okay for now...but when it gets colder this winter it will face the timeless drama of the forest, the classic fight for survival.
Well our cat though it loves us to pieces doesn't play well with other critters. Its extremely jealous. So I felt for this stray and decided my homestead project would be a house to save it from the cold. Without plans other than some thoughts I headed off to the lumber yard.