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Catio building

It's a cloudy though warm day at the farmette - already well above 20C. While the pandemic seems to easing its grip, most people have only had one of two shots, and we're not quite out of the woods yet.

Yesterday, we assembled a 'catio' for the younger felines who drive me nuts by wandering into the feral-infested neighbour's property, using their cloth ears (so they can't hear me) and making me tramp through skin-scratching underbrush to retrieve them. The thinking went that, with a catio, they can be outside and safe and we can actually get yard work done without worrying about them getting attacked.


As with nearly everything these days, I ordered it online, and it came via the nice Purolator man who deposited the two gigantic boxes on the front porch - by himself. It is one of the 'higher-end' models, cause I wanted it to be roomy enough for the kitties to be comfortable and able to romp a bit.


It was a hot day, but we were determined to get it done. Job one was reading the typically opaque instructions to make sure we a) had all the needed parts and b) could actually visualize what it needed to look like. The funniest thing was that they said construction time would be a half-hour. HAHAHAHAHA! It took us most of the day, and that was using power tools, which they said you shouldn't do.

Fortunately Rob is fully equipped with an electric screwdriver, clamps and spare screws (Robertsons, which work wayyyy better than the Phillips that came with). While we mostly used the materials sent to us, the finer details, like the latch, demanded better quality.


Anyhow, it took us from about 9:30 to noon just to get the two end pieces done.


While it wasn't quite as frustrating as the barbecue we had to assemble when we lived in Toronto (that was a shit-show, let me tell you), and there were no Allan keys involved (bane of Rob's existence), it did take some persistence, some haggling over what went where, and one snippy incident in which my toe got slightly wounded and I might have barked.

After pizza and a short nap, by

about mid-afternoon, it was really shaping up, and we felt like we were headed into the home stretch. (Note that it was also laundry day - which had happened prior to construction).


What we didn't anticipate was that the roof actually didn't fit properly. It came in three pieces and no matter how we jiggled and juggled, it wasn't going to work. Until Rob hit on the idea of putting in the middle piece and sort of making the ends work around it. YAY - such a relief to figure something out when you're sweaty, tired and just want to get the damn thing done.

In the end, we did get it done - just in time to feed the felines their supper.


But first, we decided to see what they thought of it. Fred, the extremely curious one with the cloth ears, toddled in straight away, and I had to do a little coaxing with Hobbes. We didn't close and latch it yesterday - we want them to like the place before we lock it up.

We're still not sure if they'll take to it. We certainly hope so, after all that effort. In the end, it was a good thing to be able make something together, and, while we're both creaky muscle-wise today, it was satisfying. Until next week.