Thursday, September 11, 2008

Middle Earth invades the living room

We love our movies, but most of our in-home entertainment comes from watching the critters tear through the house. Adding a vertical dimension to their play quadruples the fun: They rocket straight up, all wild-eyed and bushytailed, then shoot back down and disappear behind the couch. The problem is that, for a major piece of furniture, most cat towers are butt-ugly. Except for those amazing tree sculptures. We've always wanted to get one, but haven't been able to find $600-1000 (!) in the couch cushions to devote to our furkids.

Matt got fired up and hit Home Depot again. He's a superb engineer! Giant concrete forms, plywood, carpeting and a billion brackets later, here we are. The tree is impressively stable: No tremors even with violent feline shenanigans. I Sharpie'd the staples to disguise them as natural bark variations. There are 4 hidey holes and 6 platforms, and an inside passage (that was my idea - the rest was all Matt). The top half of the big tree is hollow and has spiraling steps inside, so the boys can actually pop out onto the canopy as an alternative to leaping from level to level. Only Figgy, with his full complement of claws, can simply walk up the outside.

It's not uncommon for multilevel battles to take place, either for sport or to claim a prime spot. The left-side stump is Peachy's favorite sleeping site, but if he's aching he uses a cave, which traps some heat for a toasty nap. Fatboy hasn't made it to the canopy yet, but he loves the bigger "shelves" for snoozing.

We still need to cover the inside surfaces, but I wanted to get pics now before they're too dark to photograph properly.

Total cost: $150