The Cat Room

-by Mark Pennington

We moved into this house about 5 years ago. Shortly after my father passed away. It was meant to provide a place to move him into so he could live out his remaining years with us. That and the new house would have extra bedrooms for cats. Ok the cat thing was the biggest issue but we didn’t tell dad that… don’t judge me J

Well we had already bought the house when dad went across Rainbow Bridge (if he heard me refer to him in terms like that he would send me across said bridge riding a size 12 cowboy boot) and now we even had more room for cats. One room, called appropriately: The Cat Room, has had a large six section cage in the room used only for isolation or putting cats in when I needed to clean the room. The cats are in the room when they are in heat. This prevents the remaining parts of my fine wood floor from gaining the anymore stains of cats in heat. The only other thing in the room was various cat trees. These would get gross and have to be tossed pretty often and it was getting pricey. I threatened for a long time to put up shelves in the room. Well I finally did so. I have lots of big shelves around the room at various heights. These shelves have a smooth veneer on them and no carpet. This way if the demon dots dare to denigrate my work it will wipe clean easily. Now one must understand that I am not ever to be confused as a carpenter. It is very hard for me to put two pieces of wood together with glue. And at the moment there are a lot of holes in the walls that are just… hmmm, let’s call them decorative ok.. Don’t judge me

Then I had a bright idea. By the way, those of you who know me, if you ever hear me say “I have a bright idea” please find a way to have me committed ok. I decided to make a floor to ceiling cat post. Now, those of you who can work with wood… PISS OFF!

 I’m  sorry that was uncalled for. *mumblehateanyonewhocanworkwithwood*

You woodworker types might think this an easy task but for those of us who are still not sure what end of the hammer should be used for screws, it’s not. I measured numerous times and finally cut my 4x4 to the appropriate height. I measured from the floor to the ceiling in my living room and was not aware till I tried to stand the post up in The Cat Room that their ceiling was not as high as my living rooms was. After replacing the window, I measured the post again this time using the ceiling in The Cat Room as the height I wanted the post to be.

Huh? Oh? The window?

After the measurement error I remembered I have a very bad temper when I screw up and the window had to pay and it was the quickest way to get the Post back out to the garage to cut it again. Now when I brought it back in, I was sure I had it right this time. Well, turns out we had to put up an additional shelf over the window in The Cat Room. The post was about 18” shorter than where I had thought I cut it at. And the floor to ceiling post was now the floor to bottom of the shelf above the window post. On the bright side, the piece that I cut off now fits nicely between two other shelves.

I think that my self esteem is improving. It no longer bothers me as much when I walk past my wife and she is just staring at me and laughing. She doesn’t even try to hide it anymore. At least she only laughs when I am walking by, I think.

Interestingly, I found that sisal rope is not near as fun for me as it is for cats. Did you know that a 4x4 post that is 80” long requires 250’ of sisal rope? Home Depot employees know me by name now. And for some reason they are always smiling and laughing when they see me come into the store. Does everyone have a group of employees follow them around the store and take pictures? I feel like such a celebrity there.  Is it normal to go into a hardware store 8 times for a single cat post installation? I decided to make darn sure that the sisal rope stayed on the post. After all I do have Bengals and they are more than a little hard on things. So I decided to glue the sisal rope on the post and use staples on one side of the thing too. Did you know that it takes 101  4” glue sticks to glue 250’ of sisal rope on a 4x4 post? Oh, and having never used a glue gun before, I was taught 10 times (I am slow, and only had 10 fingers) that hot glue is….. wait for it…… hot. Oh, and for those who haven’t used one before don’t wear shorts. Besides drips on thighs there are these little bitty glue strings that go from the project to where you set the glue gun down. Over and over they start to add up on your legs. If you are a guy, and don’t have clean shaven legs, those little strings will help you trim that unwanted leg hair.

Next job will be repainting the room. I waited to repaint because I knew I would be placing many umm, temporarily decorative holes in the walls while adding shelves and posts. I will be adding a fiberglass panel wainscoting and putting neat little kitty appliqués around the room. Wow. I have been married 28 years now but with all this talk of appliqués, painting and wainscoting perhaps I am a tad light in the loafers. Will also be adding a walkway just under the ceiling from one side of room to other down the middle. I have no idea how to do that.

Hmm when did I start humming show tunes?  Note to self: buy hardhat, watch some football and a stock car race, drink a beer and scratch.

The moment the new kitty stripper pole was done Libby ran up to it, straight up to the top and dared the other cats to try to get up to the top shelf. Apparently now that top shelf is hers. Damn cats, only thing I got from them were glares for daring to lock them up while putting up the new pole. Well, that and they pooped.


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