Kitty Wonderland

From the day I bought the property, I'd planned on having cats live with me, and I'd wanted my home to be as kitty-friendly and as kitty-entertaining as practical. How exactly I'd achieve this I didn't—or couldn't—know in advance, but it was always on my list of design objectives. Granted, I didn't go out of my way to include kitty-centric features for fear of making what was supposed to be a small, simple home overly-complex, but I'd certainly look for opportunities along the way.

Kitty Central

The first such opportunity to present itself was formerly the "mechanicals" room (a place for the furnace, water heater, etc.), which ultimately turned out to be unnecessary. And so it became Kitty Central ("storage," above), doubtless the most significant kitty-centric feature of the house: an entire room dedicated solely to "kitty maintenance." It allowed me to address basic kitty needs without intruding on other spaces: no litter box in the bathroom or food bowls in the kitchen. And just to reinforce how important my furry family is to me, this was the first room in the house to be 100% finished (16 December 2019, below).

Kitty Cubby

As I developed the kitchen, I found an ideal spot for a "kitty cubby": a space over the refrigerator that was otherwise useless to me. But how would my kids reach that lofty retreat? A series of book shelves—which shall forever remain devoid of books (I already have a very generous bookcase)—on the wall at the bottom of The Grand Gallery create a "kitty stairway" to the cubby, below. This was completed 24 December 2019, the day before my kids moved in with me.

How would my kitties know about the cubby? They'd find it on their own. I would never force them into it—that would have virtually guaranteed they'd never use it. Cats are remarkably curious, and knowing quite well how they operate, I had every confidence that one of them would be inspired to follow the "kitty staircase" to that intriguing rectangle on the wall, and the others would follow suit.

As it happens, Roy found the cubby on the second day he was in the house, and Zack found it a few days later. Owing to the fact that she's not a good jumper, Pris didn't reach it until months later, and now she's in it more than her brothers.

Kitty Condo

I built their condo shortly before they moved in, and it's made mostly from free surplus lumber. They've all adopted it as their "scratch-n-nap" center, just as I'd hoped.

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