Temperatures in the Boston area have rarely hit 30 degrees over the past couple of weeks, and have dipped into the single digits most nights. It's been a challenge keeping water available for our little feral colony because it keeps freezing.
I've been following the advice of Alley Cat Allies and putting warm water out (not too hot to drink), and sometimes adding a spoonful of sugar. I've also been changing the water as often as possible; on the coldest days the bowl is frozen after just a few hours.
I can tell our little friends appreciate the effort. Franklin, the gray and white "Outdoor King," often heads straight for the water when we put it out, even before the food. Sometimes he even takes a nap on top of the food shelter. Flika, the little white cat, has been spotted more than once emerging from one of the houses we set out for them. Although we still can't get close (they run away as soon as we step outside the house), I've noticed that they don't go too far now. They just watch from a distance, and wait for us to go back inside before turning right around and coming back.
It's a great feeling to know we're making their lives a bit easier during the cold winter months.