Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Awesome Cat House Completed!

Some time ago, when I was at the Habitat Store for something, I saw an odd looking piece of old furniture they were selling.   A sign on it said "$5.  Would Make a Good Livestock Feeder".  I suppose they figured that because it had six cubby holes, each about 14" across and 18" deep.  and each contained a shelf with a backwards slanted shelf.  "That would make a fine cat house,"    I thought to myself, but I knew it would take a lot of work.  The price was right and the wood it was made of was good and solid.

I hauled it home in the back of my car and took it apart by banging off the top first with a hammer.  I removed the two 2x4"s from the bottom, on which it balanced, then proceeded to remove the slanted shelf supports and pound them level.  Some of the shelves I removed.  Then I left the project and unfortunately, left the boards out and the rains came.

Finally I got back to it, and brought the boards into the garage to dry out, painted them a couple coats with the paint from the back of the abandoned truck, behad by me several months back, when my tow company friends said I could have all those rusted out paint cans from the truck.  To my delight.

Then I cut a slant to the top and leveled all the shelf supports, added back the shelves, cut holes here and there, painted some more, added front boards to shield cats using the cubby holes, from weather, added an upper level access shelf, an upper level porch type escape, entrance hole, and a lower level one also, and used the last bits and pieces of heavy plastic carpet runner shingle style to protect the sloped roof from rain.

Here it is finished in my garage.  No straw inside yet.  Each cubby hole bottom is lined in 1 inch foam insulation. Back and top have reflective insulation.  The cats can traverse from one cubby hole sideways to the others on that level through holes, too.

I had only some old carpet runner plastic to shingle on to protect the roof.

This is the front, showing the entrances for the six cubby holes on the two levels.  I added a shelf for access to the second level holes.

Lower level escape hatch hole, with half a plant pot for a cover.

Upper level porch escape, entrance hole.
I took it over to the Lebanon colony, where all the sick kittens had come from, placed it in the man's backyard, and stuffed the cubby holes with straw.   Within a couple hours, some of the cats surrounded it, curious.   I saw them when I drove back by, just before dark.

Around the corner from that colony, where over a year and a half, I got over 30 cats fixed, and five sick kittens out of there, to a Portland rescue, an older couple feeds strays.  I've never been able to talk to them, to make sure the cats are all fixed.  I figured most must be, since I got so many fixed around the corner from there, and another 20 fixed around the corner the other way, at the Kitten Production colony, where I also removed, early last summer, another 24 kittens out to other rescues and shelters.  This house is inbetween the two other now all fixed colonies.  Yesterday, I spotted two cats near this inbetween house, and took photos.  Both cats had ear tips and the Maine Coon male is one I took to be fixed last summer.  I hope all the cats in that area are now fixed.  It was quite an accomplishment, quite an effort in just those three Lebanon blocks, but it sure made a difference, to the people living in the area, to the colony feeders and of course to the cats.
 Show me that right ear tip!  And he did.  
Took only sound, a short whistle, to get the cat to turn, so I could take a photo to be sure he is fixed.  I didn't have binocs along and my eyes are not totally good all the time in catching that ear tip in an instant.  Far better to take a photo for checking.

And this guy too, sports that tell tale right ear tip, so helpful to show a cat is fixed.

Once I got to it, building this cat house took only a couple of days and that was mostly waiting for paint to dry and scrounging through the garage for used screws and this or that to use on it.

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