Interior Designers Build Tiny House For Stray Cat To Stay Warm In All Winter

"If we're going to do this, let's do it right."

For the past few years, Danica and Chris Gadeken have noticed a stray cat hanging out in their yard, whom they lovingly named Fat Billy. He used to only pop up every once in a while, but over the past year, he’s claimed the couple’s yard as his own.

“Once I started feeding him daily, he seemed to make our yard his home,” Danica Gadeken told The Dodo. “During the day, he roams. But when the sun sets, he makes his way back to our property, where he sleeps for the night.”

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Danica Gadeken

As the weather started to get colder, Gadeken began to worry about Fat Billy. While she’s working on gaining his trust, he still won’t let anyone get very close to him, meaning bringing him inside for the winter isn’t an option. She wanted him to have somewhere warm to go, though — so she and her husband decided to build him a house.

“I was just planning on getting a plastic bin and stuffing it with straw in hopes that Fat Billy would find shelter in there for winter,” Gadeken said. “But when I proposed my plan to my husband, Chris, he had the mindset of ‘If we're going to do this, let's do it right.’ So of course, he drew up plans to build Fat Billy an insulated cedar shake house using leftover materials we already had on hand.”

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Danica Gadeken

The couple just so happen to be interior designers, so building a cat house for Fat Billy was right up their alley. It took about a week to complete, and then all that was left to do was wait and see if Fat Billy would accept their gift.

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Danica Gadeken

“Fat Billy is a very skittish cat,” Gadeken said. “Even after a year of feeding him daily, he still won't let me get within 10 feet of him. So I knew once we put the house out where he eats his breakfast, he'd be nervous to go near it. It took about four days before we noticed Fat Billy come back, and it took another few days (along with the help of some wet food inside the house) before we enticed him to go inside!”

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Danica Gadeken

Fat Billy is still getting used to his new house, but while he’s in there, he really seems to love it. Someday, the couple hopes to gain his trust enough that they can help find him his forever home. In the meantime, they’ll continue looking out for him as best they know how — and Fat Billy will continue to offer his thanks from afar.