|Insulated Cover for Those Extremely Cold Days|
Yesterday was Jeremy's pre-neuter appointment. Unfortunately, it was also 1 degree outside with wind chills below zero. I made sure to warm up the car, but he would still need to make it from the car to the vet's office and back in these dangerous temperatures.
I have used fleece, blankets, and towels in the past to cover the carrier when it was cold, but it always seems the cage can be too exposed that way. Either the entire carrier isn't covered or the cover blows up or the cover is uneven. If the cover is too large, it gets in the way. If it is too small, something isn't covered. And it is more difficult to grab the handle through the cover. If it is windy, it seems sometimes the wind goes right through the cover anyway.
|Cover Next to the Carrier|
I made my cover in a hurry in the hour before I had to leave for the appointment, so I did not have time to photograph the process. If you are interested in making one yourself to fit your own carrier, I have included a brief description of the process below. It is very similar to making a cube/rectangular prism, except there is no bottom, so you need to clean finish the bottom edges of the side pieces together first if you want a finished edge along the bottom. You will need a sewing machine capable of sewing through many layers and a needle for heavy fabrics (sewing the top to the connected sides is the hardest part - particularly the corners where you need to sew over the side seams).
|Petmate Look 'N See Portable Kennel|
To prepare the top piece, I put the fleece top piece on top of the furniture pad top piece, right sides out/wrong sides together and pinned them together. I put the top piece on top of the carrier and marked the position of the handle. I then cut a slit in the top piece (through both fleece and furniture pad) and made sure the handle fit through the slit. I made it a little larger than necessary so I would be able to adjust the position of the cover lengthwise slightly if needed.
|Slit style handle opening|
For each of the four side pieces, I first created a finished bottom edge on each piece by doing the following: I put the fleece and furniture pad pieces right sides together and sewed them together along the bottom edge. I trimmed the seam allowance and flipped them right side out and top stitched along the sewn side, finishing off the bottom edge. Once that was done for each side piece, I sewed each side piece to the adjacent side, just like making a cube/rectangular prism, with fleece sides together (furniture pad side facing out), making sure the finished bottom edges were aligned. When they were all connected in a straight line, I folded the long strip fleece sides together so that the last piece sewn met the first piece sewn, and sewed the last piece to the first piece, making a closed rectangle. I then trimmed all the seam allowances.
When all four sides were sewn together, I turned them inside out and pinned the carrier top to the top edge of the sides, fleece sides together (furniture pad side out), the same way you would attach the top of a cube. I sewed the top piece to the sides around all four edges, just like attaching the top of a cube. Note that this will be very thick at the corners and you will need a sewing machine and needle capable of sewing through all the layers.
Once the seam allowances were trimmed, the cover could be turned inside out and then placed over the carrier to protect the rat from the weather.
|Cover lifted a bit in front to expose door.|
A similar cover could be constructed for more regular use out of lighter materials if desired.
On a side note, Jeremy got the thumbs up to go ahead with his neuter. He will be going in a week from Wednesday.