The ladies needed a new eating arrangement for a couple of reasons.
- The great ant invasion of 2016. Nothing can be left on the floor.
- Miles, who has no problem with finishing his food first even though he is fed last, then sticking his head in the bowl of whoever is still eating.
- Space and stability.
The current arrangement meant that Olivia got my thrift store platform creation which was really the better spot, and Birdie got the restructured, wobbly, sixteen-year-old remnants of a cat tree. Birdie has less space and wraps her tail under the platform like a lemur hanging on. My job, at least in the evenings, was to sit in front of the contraptions, making sure the girls finish their food, killing ants, playing Candy Crush, and telling Miles “No.” I can’t protect them during breakfast because I’m usually running behind at 5:30 a.m.
I decided that we needed a new cat tree with multiple shelves spacious enough for dining and structured to angle in the corner. I spent a lot of time scoping out different sites including Pinterest (my archenemy), and Etsy. There were a few moments of “Oh, I could build that” but the reality was it would never get done.
After much debate and list making on Amazon, I finally settled on the Intermediate Kit plus the expansion kit of the Solvit modular play structure. I think I spent about $90 all together which sounds horrifying, but really isn’t bad when you start looking at different brands and sizes.
The idea is that this kit is like the Legos or Lincoln Logs of cat trees. Allegedly, it could be assembled and re-assembled easily at the whim of the buyer. It was the third picture on the box with shelves at right angles that sold me and became my visual model. I say visual model because the instructions gave a few tips on how to use some of the pieces, and then I was on my own.
The two giant boxes arrived- much to the cats’ delight- and my weekend plans were made. (I need a life.) No one took me up on my Friday night offer of “Who wants to come over, get drunk, and put together a cat tree?” Sadly, one person asked, “What’s a cat tree?”
Friday night was spent wiping down pieces and adding modifications. Two of the legs were already wrapped to be scratching posts, but I had some spare jute and sisal rope so I wrapped two additional legs. The legs are a heavy duty plastic. I wish they were wood like the shelves, but they proved to be sturdy.
Assembly was amazingly easy! I hate putting things together. There’s always some point where the directions don’t make sense, or the one final hole/nut/bolt/connector was sized wrong and is on the verge of breaking. However this went so smoothly that I’ll just assume it’s possessed by demons or something.
And the approval rating….
The two bottom shelves are Birdie and Olivia’s new roomy eating spots. They give a bit more protection from Miles and are easy to wipe off. The higher platform came with the scratchy fabric attached. It’s a good place for nip. So far the top bed platform is the least popular although it has proven to be big enough for 13 pounds of panther. Occasionally, I will turn around to find a cat sacked out there overseeing my cooking.
Miles highly approves of anything that makes him look majestic.
But he’d also like to keep the old tree…as long as it’s in the middle of the kitchen.