It’s over. Just get me a ratty cardigan and take away my comb, because despite living with the world’s cutest dog I think I’ve finally gone and crossed over into Cat Lady territory.
It all started with Ruby’s gallstones. I didn’t want to have to hunt her down just to force a pill down her throat, so I started keeping both cats inside. And for about a thousand different reasons, I decided to keep them inside even after I stopped having to torture her with medications multiple times a day. Those reasons are boring, so I’ll skip over them, but suffice it to say that having two cats who really want to go outside but can’t can be pretty annoying. So I decided to resurrect an old dream of mine and make an outdoor enclosure thanks, in part, to Pinterest — and with lots of help from my boyfriend.
At first we weren’t all that confident in our construction abilities. Luckily he had some old pallets hanging around and we used those for the bottom and top of the structure. This meant we didn’t have to build a structurally sound box to hold the thing together, but it also meant we weren’t working with perfect squares. In essence, we built around the pallets.
We ran into some problems along the way, like a slightly bowed 2×4 and the fact that we were working on really uneven ground. But over the course of 48 hours and several trips to the hardware store, we were able to get it together.
By Sunday night we’d assembled a couple of pallets, some 2x4s, a sheet of luan, and a whole lot of screen into a cat habitat. At first, the cats had misgivings and kept ramming into the screen with their heads. Apparently they were having trouble seeing it. But once Ruby got the hang of exploring it, she quickly found the weak spot. (She’s kind of a pain in the ass sometimes.)
We hadn’t decided yet what to do about the roof, so we opted for the temporary fix of just attaching some screen to the pallet. But as soon as Ruby stepped into the enclosure she started looking for a way out. When she got to the top shelf she even started clawing and tugging at the screen on the ceiling. Before we knew it she was very briefly hanging from the screen, then taking a bit of a tumble, and then she got right back up and went back to exploring. However, a corner was loose so I let her back in the house and left Jerry to explore on his own. He’s no acrobat.
So I need to come up with a more permanent solution for the roof — perhaps corrugated plastic — and reinforce the rest of the screen. Clearly the cat cannot be trusted. But I think it’s safe to say my conversion to Official Cat Lady is complete.