Cats in the Alcove – Part 3

A couple of weeks ago I got the cats access to the alcove above the TV by way of a new cat tree and wall shelf.  So far Darwin is the only one to go up there, and he LOVES it:

110t

He perches up there every evening, watching the world go by:

114b        114c

114d        114e

Meanwhile Birdie hasn’t attempted to get up there, and has shown very little interest in the new cat tree.  Mostly because Darwin is usually in it or climbing up it on his way to the alcove.  And to that Birdie says “Meh!”:

114a

[I took those 5 pics with my Nikon DSLR which is why they’re a lot crisper than my usual cellphone shots…]

I think Birdie is scared of getting trapped up there with no alternative exit.  Birdie is ALL about the alternative exit.  It’s hard enough getting her to come into the living room at all!  She considers the downstairs hall cat platform HERS, and spends a great deal of time on it, peering around the corner into the living room:

80d

Meanwhile, Darwin considers the living room part of the platform HIS:

87g

Here they are both sleeping on their respective “sides”:

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Which means I don’t think my original plan of building steps up the wall to the alcove will work, because they’d be above “his” part of the platform:

98n

So now I’m pondering the creation of a 3-ramp & 3-platform system that would allow Birdie to get from “her” platform, around the corner, and up to the alcove:

114g         114h

The ramps would have little treads on them like the original dining room platform ramp:

18e

Which has since been chopped up and used for other projects, like the upstairs hall platform access steps, and most recently the new shelf in the living room leading to the alcove:

110o

The ramps would also give her quick access back down from the alcove if Darwin jumped up from the other side.  I think it could work!

So today after work I took some measurements:

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Headed down to the basement cage, got out the circular saw, and did some cutting.  Unfortunately the battery died halfway through, so I had to do the rest with my hand saw.  All 6 boards are cut from ¾” plywood and are 7″ wide.  I now have a 25″ board [ramp #1], a 7½” board [platform #1], a 19″ board [ramp #2], a 21″ board [platform #2], another 19″ board [ramp #3], and a 13″ board [platform #3]:

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I used my power sander to sand the edges and my adorable yellow ShopVac to suck up the resultant dust:

114l        114m

Then slapped on 2 coats of primer:

114n

And called it a night.  I made a huge mess… primer doesn’t wash off like paint does!

114o        114p

Tomorrow after work I’ll prime the other side, and then on Friday I can paint them and hopefully either Saturday or Sunday hang them up for Birdie!

Jeesh – once you start building cat ramps it’s really hard to stop!!!  Thankfully, like I tell hubby, they’ll come down a LOT easier than they went up – it’s just a matter of grabbing the drill, zapping the screws back out, a little spackle here, a little paint there, and it’s like they never existed.

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3 Comments

  1. Jessica @CapeofDreams

    Oh the things we do for our pets! I am almost finished with our super kitty highway in the basement and hope to post on Friday.

  2. Your cats are so beautiful – Darwin is, and he knows it. Birdie’s also gorgeous, but has an owl-like ferocious look – probably to keep the two guys at a distance.
    And your plans, as always, are ambitious and fun. It will be interesting to see if Birdie ever tries out and uses the new step system up to the alcove.

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