In my ongoing effort to show that our cats are not spoiled, I here present exhibit… 21,467.
But first, a little background might be in order. Chex Mix (known colloquially as “Chexie”) is our youngest cat and our newest addition. I think we’ve had her for close to two years. She’s sweet and got along with the other three cats for many months (cue dramatic music). But then, Peanut, who is sweet but evil, decided that Chexie was no longer deserving of acceptance and proceeded to attack her and do other, more odorous things. So, to keep the peace, Chexie became a permanent resident of our master bedroom… and has her own cat tree, her own toys, and her own servants to turn on the faucet for her so she can drink directly out of it rather than from a bowl because, you know, that’s just so gauche.
What she doesn’t have… or more accurately, didn’t have (until today) was her own outdoor, window-accessible enclosure. The other cats all share a rather elaborate one, so it hardly seemed fair (by cat standards) that she was denied such luxury.
Well that inequity ended today… and I have the scrapes and cuts to prove it (and the photos, but that’s secondary to my physical discomfort).
Since this enclosure had to be installed in a second-story window, I couldn’t make it as huge and unwieldy as the one for the other cats. It had to fit through the window from inside the house. Much like the process used to create the first enclosure, a vague and sketchy plan was devised at the kitchen table using various scraps of paper… and then promptly disregarded (mostly). The important parts were the measurements of the window… which I took at least 7 times in hopes of avoiding that “Oh crap!” moment caused by the box not fitting in the window.
So off I went to Lowes with papers in hand to buy supplies to build this thing. I didn’t have a shopping list, per se, because the plans were actually morphing in my head as I drove to the store. I had a rough idea that I needed plywood, some outdoor carpet, some angle brackets, bolts, cage wire, and… some other stuff (like actual plans).
I did fairly well with my ever-changing mental list, even getting a great deal on a carpet remnant. I got all the stuff together and organized in the garage and, realizing I didn’t really have any decent plans, went to bed.
Sadly, the cat box fairies did not visit during the night to do all the building for me, so I worked out the details of my construction effort and made all the wood cuts (with Megan’s help) and the carpet cuts. Then came the [profanity removed] cage wire cuts with dull wire cutters and multiple, unintentional blood-lettings.
That done, the assembly process could begin, complete with hammering, drilling, stapling, screwing, and bolting. It was relatively uneventful other than a few minor errors in assembly order that were easily remedied by removal of carpet staples and an unexplained mislocation of several bolt holes.
Once the two main pieces were attached, it started to look like something that might actually come together. It was sturdy and, thanks to my excessively high number of window measurements, passed a test fit in the window with flying colors.
I had to make another trip to Lowes to pick up some additional fasteners to attach the wire to the base, but after everything was attached (and after a couple more unintentional, but minor, blood-lettings), it was ready to go in the window and be cat-tested.
In the window it went. The fit was perfect (well… close enough to perfect for me to call it perfect), and it was very sturdy. I showed it to Chexie and held the door open for her and she walked right out onto it, sniffed around, and came back inside to use the litter box. I’m not sure if that was a sign, but I really hope not.
Here are some final shots of the installed enclosure.