On a cold winter’s morning my first introduction to the day as we come down the stairs is an arctic chill across the entry hall floorboards. The front door leaks fresh, cold air in a steady stream throughout the night and day which doesn’t help to heat up the dining room for breakfast. My daughter was assigned the task of selecting a good-value-for-money excluder that will match the hallway decor she had chosen.

She picked a white kitty. A super pet novelty soft micro fleece toy excluder and promptly carried it upstairs to her room to lie on top of her bed. I listened to the logic – but she will get cold by the door, there is a very cold wind blowing in through it and I get lonely at night and she will be great company so I don’t wake up and call for you. Sold. Bed warmer she shall be.

Turns out this was actually a great decision. It solved a common night time problem – the case of the missing, misshapen duvet. Thanks to all the tossing, turning and kicking little ones are so well known for, at some point long before morning, blankets and duvets have a tendency to fall on the floor, fall half-way on the floor, turn completely side-ways, fold over double at the bottom of the bed or end up as comfortable pillows instead.

Just tuck it in, was my first thought. But teaching a youngster to carefully tuck in their bedding when making the bed is beyond me and due to personal dexterity issues, tucking in duvets daily is not a pleasant or quick task. Plush kitty to the rescue. She sleeps at the bottom of the bed, curled around the foot of the bed and miraculously, the bedding has stayed in place every night for the last 2 months.

She also solved a secondary problem. A common issue with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, which my daughter has, is that heavy blankets are uncomfortable and constricting, lightweight blankets can get tangled into joints and cause joint dislocations and due to the lack of proprioception feel insubstantial. Few things are as calming as a comfortable, warm heavy weight to those who are always unsure where their own body begins and ends. The draught excluded added weight at the bottom of the bed which made light-weight blankets feel heavier than they are.

I am sure there are other ways to achieve a similar effect, but a heavy, durable draft excluder is a low-cost, effective solution.

Novelty Soft Micro Fleece Furry White Cat Plush Door Window Draught Excluder is available from Amazon + in four designs – as a white or black cat or dog for £7.49 + Free Delivery.

Shared Earth, a UK-based fair-trade shop operating with ecological principles in mind sells a large cat flax seed draught excluder for £22.50 here.

This article was first published on 14 January 2015.