A long absense, but I’ve been using the time well. Just paid the last of the debts off, and am steadily saving for the ten acres.
So I don’t forget the physical side of the project though, I took it upon myself to do a little prototype project – for my cats. Since Play the Planet will be all about doing acts of service for others (building greenhouses and the like), I figured, well…until I’m in a position to start that, let’s get outside and get dirty!
The Cattary is both indoors and outdoors. The indoor portion consists of a big desk, covered in a blankey, and a cat tree, both with views.
Here are Patches (blind), Ghost (deaf) and Jack (one eye/half deaf) checking out the indoor portion.
In addition to the “inside” part though, there’s also going to be an outside part. Of course, I live in the mountains, so the ground I wanted to put the second (outside) part on was not level. That was the first challenge.
It was slow goings, but I got quite a lot done before getting chased in by an afternoon thunderstorm, and I had Ghost supervising my activities from her perch on the desk.
After the rains stopped, I was able to put the tarp roof on, under the supervision of the Mini-Moos, since Ghost was bored with the whole affair by that point.
And so, the first part of the outside portion of the Cattery is now complete. I’ll be getting the stuff for the next phase later this week, which will allow me to begin to tie the two parts together.
Well, I’m not quite ready to call it “done” yet – there are still some tweaks needed, but the drawbridge is in place, and the Cattary is officially open for business and has been blind cat tested and approved (Ghost, the deaf one, also spent some time in the outside portion and found it to her liking, but kinda freaked out when I tried to escort her through the cat door, so that’s a bit of a work in progress).
Anyway, couldn’t have done it without help, so thank you, Jennifer! 🙂
We cut a pool noodle up to provide just a bit of structural integrity, placing two pillars and a cross-beam about halfway down the bridge, and to cover the spot where we had join the two sections of wire together to span the length of the bridge.
Both of us came away with a few nicks, scrapes, mostly from working with the chicken wire itself, although like a total dumbass, I cut my finger loading the blades into the new utility knives, and cut a different finger sawing the little “steps” to make the drawbridge cat friendly. Go me.
I had some spare fill dirt from another project, so I put it under the little blue blocks to stabilize and balance them, adding a pair of bricks lying around for added support.
During a recent storm, one of my neighbors lost an apple tree, and I was able to get a large branch from him to add to the inside of the kennel, on the thinking that this would be a most excellent natural scratching post and lounging spot. Patches seems to agree – we’ll see how the others take to it in time.
Updates to come:
I’m not 100% happy with the “airlock,” which is the span of oddly shaped space between the pet door in the window and the drawbridge itself. For the moment, we’ve got a collar rigged with a part of a pool noodle, some chicken wire, and a few zip ties, but it’s not what I’d call optimal. Still, it’ll work until we can come up with a better, more permanent solution.
Also toying around with the idea of adding a shelf to provide some additional lounging space, but still mentally chewing on that.
PS: The Dremel Tool kicks all kinds of ass. 🙂 Cut through the bars of the kennel to create the opening for that end of the drawbridge like they were melted butter, then ground them down smooth afterwards. And we used it to cut away lots of excess wire to make it conform to the unusual shape created by the slope of the bridge. Good stuff.