Cattery Construction

Good walls make for good neighbors.

I remember the day we determined walls were necessary.

It was after dinner, as our family cozied up in the living room to watch an action packed, award-winning war flick, when we all heard it: the catastrophe of shattered glass, followed by what we could guess was a thump of cat feet. We held out hope that the surround sound system was the source of this experience, but we knew better.  We knew it wasn’t just stellar sound-editing speaker-blasting; it was a vase whose place in the center of a foyer console table was of great interest to a 5 month old kitten. She had nudged, batted, and pushed the vessel until it slid predictably right onto the hardwood floor. Soil and glass, roots and tendrils: these are new things of interest to the toddler-cat, but to me, in mid-movie, they are reason enough to plan safer, cleaner diversions for the Masterpiece Ragdolls. Our kittens needed their own room.

Pet Supply Retailers have high prices. Pinterest has plans. Lowes has materials.  And I have a love for the hunt!

Necessity is the mother of invention.

I needed pre-treated lumber, sturdy brackets and screws, a trusty stud finder, a tape measure, glue, and jute cord. By good luck, I acquired free cabinets & old dressers from Facebook Marketplace users. I found discarded carpet samples, thrift store ficus trees, and dollar store flowers. Clothes hangers, yarn, and jingle bells. Pipe cleaners & clothes pins and feathers. I scavenged clearance racks at TJ Maxx, searching for fodder to build toys & contraptions. I caught a sale at Chewy for Frisco carpeted cat trees, but the kittens needed more than a place to perch. They needed to pounce from perch to shelf; shelf to perch. 

Surprisingly, Lowe’s associate Mr. Pat was not surprised when I visited my local store. He said he had heard of many pet projects in his years in the lumber department. He was happy to help. He gave me a lesson on double-sided screws, and taught me how to pick good lumber for shelves. He offered lots of budget-friendly options.  He dismissed my many thanks as “just doin’ my job, ma’am”, but he couldn’t know how much of my home décor and furniture he was saving! Not to mention the ragdoll kittens’ collective gratitude. My husband explained the finer points of the Black & Decker drill. He saved my project from a few small disasters, namely the one where my DIY spirit deserted me mid-project. 

There were a few Pinterest fails: holes I couldn’t undrill & some glue I could not unstick. Alas, Lowe’s has wall-patch and sandpaper for those snafus. All in all, the cattery spaces are practical for the kitties and lovely enough for the humans to visit. And now our family movie night doesn’t involve shattered glass and apologetic ragdoll eyes.


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