How We Spoil Our Cats, December 2017 Edition
Posted on December 18, 2017 Posted by John Scalzi 42 Comments
We give them custom-made cat steps. The steps go up to a resting area above the sliding glass door. The installation was done over the weekend; we have to add carpet to each step yet but otherwise it’s done. I was a little worried how it was going to look but I think it turned out well. The cats are still figuring out what the heck it is.
When Krissy suggested this as a thing she wanted, I said, “All right, but you know you’re obliging us to have cats until the end of time.” She seemed okay with that.
Off to finish this novel.
My cats would be envious if they saw that.
They look rather stylist I think.
Don’t you even try to keep your cats down off things?
Looks like a good excuse to cause mayhem by getting into that bookcase behind them..
Best not let my little monsters see that… they’ll be building their own before I know what’s happening. Little Madam is the brains of the pair — she worked out very early in life how humans opened doors and did her best to emulate it but she just doesn’t have the heft to make it work. Boycat (who is the brawn) watched her bemused for the best part of two years and then caught on big time… So now, when Little Madam wants a door opened, she summons her own private genie and he does the job.
If you (or your heirs) ever decide to sell the house, you just put some stylish artwork on them and call them mid-mod display shelves.
I bet they would “figure them out” even faster if you put some action figures on there. My cats love knocking my Star Wars figures off the shelves (luckily, it is my display of the Playskool brand figures so they are built to take a beating).
Well if you don’t continue with cats down the line. you have some bookshelves. oddly placed bookshelves. but bookshelves none the less….
My cats would love the steps and the high platform, and I like the bend in the middle for visual interest. i just finished re-reading Zoe’s Tale, really good. I encourage you in your efforts to make this one really good too.
It’s not my house, but personally I’d leave off the carpet. They can clearly navigate them just fine without and it looks nicer and doesn’t tempt them to claw the way carpet does. Easier to clean, too.
Personally I never got why people talk about “spoiling” their pets. They’re members of the household. Why wouldn’t you want them to be happy and stimulated? Besides, bored pets are the ones who get up to destruction and shenanigans. I’m not gonna make my happiness less important than my dog’s but why have him here if I don’t want him to enjoy himself? He’s not a decoration.
Looks great, I’m sure the cats will love it. And I’d bet they’ll be in the bookshelf soon too.
At my family’s Chanukah party on Saturday, my aunt had a list of questions for us to answer. One was “who do you admire?” and my answer was John Scalzi, for his genuine feminism, honest writing, and his compassion. Thank you for making me even more right!!!!!! My heart opens when you write about Krissy, Athena, and the dog and cats.
My husband built something similar for our cat. The top shelf was near the ceiling, but we removed it after she got too comfortable and yes, rolled right off the edge. She wasn’t hurt, but my hubby couldn’t take the heart palpitations watching her shoot up to the top and teeter there. Definitely add the carpet, the greater traction will help when they discover how much fun it is to scamper up them at full speed. Or wrassle on the top platform. Merry Christmas, Scamperbeasts!
I want cat shelves just like that now! I have mixed feelings about carpeting. I get the desire for traction, and of course cats will lay on the steps not just go to the top, so carpeting would be comfy. But the plain wood looks nice. Maybe rubber mats cut to size? Ooooh – a rainbow effect that only really tall people could appreciate? I just googled rubber mats. There are interlocking foam mats with alphabet letters on them — that’s what I want! I could have rainbow PLUS meaningless letter sequence!
Miles Archer, you can’t keep cats down off things any more than you can keep cats’ hair off things.
Nice, but with the number of books that come through your door – how do you not use every flat surface (including stairs and little kitty steps) for piling up books?
We gave our cats something similar – a spiral “staircase” up to a loft box mounted over a door. They loooooved it for years. They actually broke the vertical pole that held the stairs by dashing across the back of the sofa and launching onto the stairs. DH had to reinforce it with shelf brackets. :-) This looks less apt to require extra construction.
Given what looks like Daisy’s dog bed below, hope you don’t have to worry about the Scamperbeasts taking a flying leap off the stairs onto the bed…especially when somebody’s sleeping in it!
Gillette Castle in Lyme Connecticut has these. As i remember Gillette also paneled the walls with straw matting for the entertainment of his cats. (He made his fortune playing Sherlock Holmes on stage)
“Puuuuurrrrrrfect”. (In voice of Catwoman of your choice)
This is just wonderful– attractive and clever. I love how well you treat your beautiful cats! Please pass on a petting or treat to them from this cat-loving reader of your blog. :)
Mine would take advantage of the upper shelves whenever they anticipated a trip to the vet or boarding facility, and my current theory is that they have learned to read the calendar.
How long before you’ll be looking for your personal effects, which one of the Scamperbeasts has carried up there?
When, and only when, the book is done, could you share a high-level DIY overview of how you constructed the kitty stairway to heaven?
We hired someone to do it.
Up next, kitty elevator.
Congratulations on catifying your house, as Jackson Galaxy would call it. I’d like to do the same in a narrow hall in my place where my cats too often start fighting when they pass. A kitty superhighway would promote peace as well as expercise.
You even included an outlet for them to charge their phones, very nice!
Yep, Jackson Galaxy would approve. I do to. I am undecided on the carpeting. Looks like they finished the top surfaces so they look nice as is. The right color carpet would look nice too. Knowing a little about your pet history I suspect you were obligated to have cats until the end of time long before you had this done.
The only strange thing is that the cats appear to actually use it. Anytime I get something specifically for my cat she just glares at me, shreds the couch a little, and then stalks away.
We bought cat furniture, first. Still don’t have a dining set, but the cats are happy.
The next step, if your ceilings are high enough, is to build overhead cat walkways that cross the room, or even go from room to room. If you reach that stage, you can be assured you’ve become a crazy cat person with too much money. :D
Google image search should give you some entertaining ideas. (Or just some entertainment, if you don’t want the ideas.)
That looks like a tremendously fun arrangement for the critters. A fitting reward for their tireless work keeping the field mice in the field and out of the house.
Didn’t cat Zeus get his name from habituating high places and looking down on the mortals below? I thought you had to break him of that habit, now you put in this . . .
Add a box with a hole in it on the top shelf. Makes cats feel safe like they are on a hunting perch.
Heck, I want something like that for me, nevermind the cats.
It’s a little bit magical, no bad thing in my view, and will give you years of pleasure watching them; Krissy rules!
Commenters beat me to the suggestion that it would work as an art installation, sans cats.
(Be assured that I’m not recommending that. Cats definitely always included in a happy life.)
Did you hire a regular carpenter or is there some kind of cat furniture specialist out there? I have a similar space in my house and I could imagine this being pretty fun to have in there.
This guy proves you lack ambition.*
The bathroom alone is amazing. Though I have to admit that I, personally, think the spiral ramp leading to the kitchen counter is somewhat misguided. That’s the one place I do try to train the cats not to go.
* An alternative interpretation is that he proves that you, unlike him, are still clinging to sanity. :D
We just put a framed cat opening in our wall to allow the cats access to the litter box, which is now hidden in a closet. I love it. My husband needed convincing, but he likes it too. The handy-guy who did it told my kids that he just tricked out his house with a bunch of cat perches and walkways & now my kids want us to do that as well!
Very cool! Our elder kid has been trying for years to convince us to do something like that for our cats, and if we didn’t have such a tiny house that such shelves would present a hazard to navigation, we might just do it. Alas, our poor beasts must content themselves with sofa, bookshelves, dressers, windowsills, counters, and my chair at the kitchen table.
You’re not spoiling your cats. You’re acknowledging them as valued members of your family. Happy holidays to Zeus and the Scamperbeasts – long may you scamper together!