Sunday, April 06, 2014

Birthday Party Stalls Cat Wheel Completion

Any excuse not to finish projects and a birthday party is a super good excuse as far as excuses go.

Cake.  Ice cream.  Balloons.  Ok, there were no balloons.

The little girl across the street turned seven.  SEVEN!  Her mom was pregnant with her when I moved onto the block.  Now she is SEVEN!

An old seven, too, that girl.

I put on my almost best clothes and over I went.  My best set of clothes are reserved for funerals and weddings.  I have never been invited to a wedding in my entire life.  But, I have been to lots of funerals.

I don't like funerals. I'd rather attend a riotous wake.  Remember that people, for when I die.  No funeral desired.  But a wake?   Wow, that would be awesome.  I don't get out much and have never been, that I can recall, invited to an adult type party either.  If there happens to be a party upon my death----WOW!!!   PERFECT!

The kids played.  I checked out her birthday present, a guinea pig, and began to worry about her immediately.  I talked to the other adults present, relatives and friends of mom and dad, and ate some cake.  Happy Birthday Kid!   But stop growing up so fast.

 I really meant to finish up the cat wheel, make the stand, paint the thing.  I did attach the wheel mount to the center back and cut out the wood for the stand.  The bottom of the stand is going to be the dead neighbor's patio table top.  I was going to make a cat wheel of that, but after months in my garage, it had not dried out.

Being particle board covered in Formica, the swelling of the wood on one side from moisture, would have offset the motion of the wheel.  So I cut that side off and the rest will be a bit more than half the circular table, for the bottom part of the stand.  I cut an old 4x4 to length to hold up the wheel and the top of it to fit the wheel mount bracket.  So I did a couple things on the cat wheel.

All that's left really is to paint the whole thing, finish up the stand and mount the wheel to the stand.

I wonder some about the integrity of that bolt that came with the wheel mount, that attached its little wheel to the bracket and now that bolt will hold the bracket onto the stand post.  That's a little tiny bearing bracket itself attached to the back of the cat wheel, to hold that whole thing vertical and its bracket will hold the entire weight of the cat wheel plus cats.  Let's hope for the best!

I wish I could have attached it to a metal pipe, but then you have to attach the pipe to a stand.  Wouldn't be so tough if I had welding capacity or even pipe threading capacity.  So wood it shall be and I shall hope it will hold together and if it doesn't, oh well.  I'll think of something better.

Some people use a small tire, like for a cart, and bolt it to the inside center of the cat wheel, and then use its axle run through the wheel and stand post, with a metal spacer, between the back of the cat wheel and stand post.  But they run the axle right through a hole in the stand post and that is a lot of torque on a wood hole.  I would have added a metal bushing through the wood first.   And even better, through a bushing protected hole drilled through a vertical pipe used as the stand post.  But, I used what I had.

The wheel mount is, after all, rated to 225 lbs, and the cat wheel weighs little more than half a sheet of plywood--maybe 30 lbs.  Not much, in other words.  Add a fat cat or two, and you still add only 20 lbs of weight.

Won't take more than an hour to finish.  It's just as well I didn't work much today.  Last night, pain kept me up half the night again.  So today I took a nap in the afternoon.  I think my butt joint pain is getting less frequent and less intense, or maybe I'm getting used to it.  I do exercises daily and also use my Goodwill step machine.  I go longer and longer on it.  It's just two steps attached to pistons on the bottom that make the stepping tough going.

It took some getting used to, just to balance on the steps while using it.  It's like walking through deep sand or up a hill.

Zeva was out in my backyard this morning, lonely.  She's owned on the other block but she doesn't seem to get much attention.  Last night, I noticed she slept atop my neighbors roof.

 Jake's been back.  Jake is the tame gray tabby boy I got fixed last spring.  I tried to find him a home then or find out if somewhere he was owned, and got nowhere.  Eventually I let him go again.  He stayed around a few days then vanished.  But he's been back a few times in the last couple of weeks.  Not to eat.  He isn't hungry.  He wants to watch the birds.

Jake, dozing in the sun a few days ago in my backyard.   He's only been back a few times recently.

 And today, a very dark brown tabby was in the dead neighbors backyard.  I looked up and saw him and wondered who that was.  He was skinny and looked young but I couldn't tell from a distance and was over at the birthday party when I looked back and saw him over there.

I'll have to keep watch and make sure none of the roamers are unfixed.  Peeman Sam should let me know, if I miss it.

I bet I'll finish the cat wheel tomorrow.  If so, there will be photos.

Every morning Slinko rushes into the bathroom to get attention before all the other cats realize I am up and available for their purposes.

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