American Ingenuity

September 22, 2009

Pet stores are fairly rare here and not necessarily fully stocked. We went to one of the “best” and they had three brands of cat food to choose from – the cheap brand we were already using (and which seems to be giving the cats digestive trouble) or two really expensive brands. The only litter scoop they had came with a litter box. There were no separately available tools. AND they were all out of litter. They had a few cat trees, but they were short and one was covered in powder blue shag carpet – way too foofoo for two male cats. They were also not particularly sturdy.

We have very high ceilings and Bert, especially, wants to be as high as he can get. He climbed on top of the dining room chair and stared longingly at the ceiling the other day. Plus, there are plenty of interesting things for them to see out the window, if they can just get high enough to see over the balcony railing.

To order a nice, big cat tree via the internet and have it shipped here is prohibitive. Finding a carpenter who could build us one would be time consuming and possibly impossible.

So, while at Ace “Hardware” (I use quotes because they have very little hardware) we found tall metal shelving for a fairly reasonable price and I had an epiphany, alright, it was just an idea, but a really, really good one.

We bought two sets of shelving.shelves I cut up the box to make the wire shelving easier to walk on for cats.shelf I was very frugal, this is what is left of the boxes the shelves came in. BoxesI cut up cheap fleece blankets to cover each shelf. These can be removed, laundered and replaced (unlike carpet covered cat trees.)covered I added dangling toys. Daddybird gave me a hard time for putting the Star of David on a tree for Arab cats.starAgain, I was being frugal. The stars were attached to some felt place mats I bought for another project.

We will connect the two shelf towers with heavy duty plastic ties. I have to run to the store to get them, so not quite complete, yet.

And Voila! The best cat tree in town.cattreeYou know what they say – You can tell how crazy a person is by the size of their cat tree.



  1. Well, something like that anyway. Cat people are usually crazy, so don’t hold back; there are more toys to conquer. Glad they’re getting on.

  2. ahhh, you can remove, launder, and replace carpeted cat trees…we moved one from inside to outside and replaced it! Very cool contraption…send it to DIY or Handyman magazine and see if they will send you some moolah!!! Our cats must be content with the small table in front of the window by the bird feeder. It is THEIRS, though, and I won’t let anyone put stuff on it. Only free table area in the whole house!LOL

  3. I agree Kris. Here is the site for Family Handyman
    They pay $100 and this would fit perfectly with this wordless project they do every month. Go for it!

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