Ernie's new coat didn't work too well. Turns out the outer layer of fabric has this plasticy coating on it, like a rain coat. Which means first that it's fairly heavy, and also that it makes noise when Ernie moves. She wanted no part of it, and honestly, I do not blame her. I wouldn't want to wear a heavy, crackly coat either. Time for plan B.
We have a couple of those heat pack things that you warm up in the microwave. One of them is a rectangular rice bag with a pink flannel cover but Walker tend to favor that one when he has body aches, so I used the other one, a tube filled with buckwheat kernels. I didn't want Ernie to lay on it - I thought it might be too hot for her - so I got out one of the puppy blankets that we got when we used to take care of my sister's dogs during the day. I folded the blanket and tucked the heat pack inside. Ernie didn't seem to want anything to do with that, either, probably because when you heat it it gives off a smell a bit like bread baking. But I set her on it, held her there for a minute, and she figured out pretty quick that this thing was giving off heat. She curled up on it and slept for hours.
Eventually these heat packs cool off. Ernie will go get herself a snack and come back to a cool blankie. She lets us know, loudly, when she needs a reheat. She's got the whole family jumping through hoops. Even the kids take reheat duty seriously. Then Walker decided that Ernie really should have a bigger heat pack, maybe one that she can lay her whole body on. So he went out to the fabric store. The ladies who work there just love him, so he had no trouble finding help. He told his new friend that he needed to make a heat pack for his cat, he wanted the fabric to be soft, and by the way, the cat likes pink. Oh, yes, he absolutely did. He proudly brought home a length of pretty pink flannel, 100% cotton because that is the recommended fabric for use in the microwave. My mom has been bribed into sewing it up. For the cat. Ahem.