Cats in the Alcove – Part 4: EPIC FAIL

There’s a fine line between failure & determination.  Currently I am on the failure side:

116b        spackling the wall after the living room cat platform ramp fail

Those are the two walls where I tried – valiantly – to build the latest and greatest cat ramps to get Birdie from her platform up to the alcove.

Another view of failure would be this ramp, which I turned into Swiss cheese with all the holes I drilled for different configurations of braces and brackets:

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And if you say, well, that doesn’t look TOO bad, here’s a closer look:

attaching black ikea shelf brackets to the living room cat platforms

Horrible!

Bonky says “oh hai, did you need a picture of this?  Let me sit on it for you.”

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Everything started out well!

Last week I cut and primed the new platforms & ramps:

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Thursday and Friday after work I painted them and added treads to the 3 ramps:

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So far so good!

Then I spent 8 hours yesterday trying to attach them to the walls.  EIGHT.  HOURS.

I started with the littlest platform:

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Which I quickly realized was slanting slightly downwards:

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So I shored it up with a shelf bracket:

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Then I attached the first two ramps – one above Birdie’s current platform and one around the corner above Darwin’s platform:

downstairs hallway cat ramp fail        downstairs hallway and living room cat ramp fail

It wasn’t until I took that 2nd picture that I realized how much ramp #1 was slanting downwards, away from the wall.  MEH!  So I took it off the wall and tried installing it with shelf brackets instead:

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The shelf is much straighter now:

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But then I realized the cats might hurt themselves on the little bit of bracket sticking out from the shelf, which you can see in this picture [which I took after the fact, of the left bracket, to illustrate my point]:

downstairs hallway cat ramp fail

So I flipped the right bracket the long way [there wasn’t enough room to flip them both the long way]:

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Then I moved back around the corner into the living room and hung up the next 2 platforms:

living room cat ramp fail        living room cat ramp fail

Instead of installing the 3rd ramp I chopped it into 2 smaller platforms and installed one at the “start” of the sequence and one at the end [that white circle in the 2nd picture is a dust particle floating in the air from all the holes I drilled in the drywall *sigh*]:

downstairs hallway and living room cat ramp fail        living room cat ramp fail

At that point, I thought I was done!

But then hubby pointed out the cats would have a hard time navigating from the central platform [the one right above my painting] up to the other 2 before reaching the alcove.  There wasn’t really enough head room for them to get a good jump angle in:

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I totally agreed.  The middle shelf was too high and the top [mini] shelf was potentially unnecessary.  So I took them down.  Meanwhile, Darwin gave the first few ramps/platforms a try [that’s another dust particle floating above his tail]:

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Then he stared up at the alcove and gave a very frustrated meow.  I know, dude, I’m working on it.

Then he turned around and took great care to step OVER the ramp to reach the smaller platform.  And I realized the ramp wasn’t necessary [the one that’s behind him in the picture above].  So I took THAT down.

Then I decided I may as well take down the first ramp, too:

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Since, as hubby noted, the cats seem to prefer platforms [which I kind of knew anyway, from when I installed my first ramp in the dining room last year, which was another epic fail].

Which is how we ended up here, with 2 tiny remaining platforms, no ramps, and a lot of Spackle [well, actually Joint Compound which I found out isn’t as thick as Spackle and needs about 4 coats – meh]:

116b        spackling the wall after the living room cat platform ramp fail

*SCREAM*

This morning I washed off the excess Spackle and now the holes look like constellation patterns:

116h        116g

So, I am firmly on the side of failure.  But I’m determined to make it work!!!  No matter how many times I fail!  So I’m going to start from scratch, in 3… 2… 1… go!

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6 Comments

  1. The important thing is not to give up! You will get it. I have faith.

    • Thanks, Jessica! I did get it, finally! The new platform staircase looks awesome! I’ll post pics tomorrow 🙂 How is Crème liking her new jungle gym?

  2. Maybe you should consider leaving that upper alcove to Darwin. Even though he’s very tolerant of Birdie, I’m not sure he’d be too happy about sharing. After all, he’s Darwin, and that’s HIS personal space.

    • Hell to the No! That alcove is for them both 🙂 They get along fine. Darwin will be more than happy to share the space with Birdie. IF she uses the new platforms that I successfully built this afternoon! I’ll post about them tomorrow 🙂

      • Congratulations – sounds like you finally aced it today. Looking forward to seeing pictures of Birdie finally making the ascent to the top of her world!

        • Well, I didn’t say *Birdie* was part of the success – just that I succeeded in creating the platforms for her in case she decides to give it a go! Darwin has already shown his satisfaction with the new staircase 🙂

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