Success Report: DIY Kitty Perch Rescue

May 31, 2022

By Roc

Remember that fantastic gray kitty perch Karen put together for us as an early Christmas present during the pandemic…

Tony sleeps up top evenings, and we’ve kept it looking nice. I can count on one paw the times Max has ever touched it.

Tony and I found one sisal post PERFECT for wonderful claw-grabbing s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s and we’ve been giving it daily workouts — until this happened…

I can’t blame Tony. I’m the only kitty with the size and strength to commit vandalism of this magnitude. I even get a criminal look in my eyes when I’m pondering my next big caper…

Around these parts, they call me “KMD” (Kitty of Massive Destruction).

This development upset Karen because 1) Loss of a popular scratching place put us one step closer to digging in to the furniture, and 2) It looked bad, not that the living room is what you’d call a showplace even on a good day.

The sisal was flimsy, and the post underneath turns out to be crappy cardboard. Which explains how Karen got the thing dirt-cheap. What did she expect for less than three figures? Mahogany?

Out of respect (and aversion to Karen’s screaming), Tony and I have steered clear of that post since the destruction.

After determining it might be fixable, Karen turned to the trusty internet and discovered a cottage industry for restoring sisal kitty scratchers.

She bought 164 ft. of MEEXPAWS 1/4” sisal rope from Amazon, which came nicely coiled, and with a roll of double-stick tape…

Photo: Amazon

But Karen didn’t want to use tape or glue because they might not withstand our assaults, and they’d ruin the cardboard if the post needed fixing again. What to do, what to do?

We don’t own a big staple gun, and Karen was considering nailing it when she found this perfectly brilliant man with a YouTube video, “My cat tree repair without tools or glue”…

We tackled the project this past weekend. I supervised nearby, of course. Karen first removed the original sisal, which had been stapled.

Immediately upon untying the new bale of sisal, all 164 feet unraveled at our feet into a tangled mess, which Karen then had to fling around the post with every row she wrapped.

Sorry, no photos of that because I have no thumbs for the iPhone and if Karen had let go for a second in mid-wrapping, it would have all come undone.

As she used up rope, it got a little easier. Finally, she made it to the bottom and tied it off. Voila!…

The color’s a bit off, but it’s heavier rope, so even BETTER than before.

I say that even though Tony and I have so far refused to be the guinea pigs to test it, even though Karen gave us an hilarious demonstration to refresh our memories on how to scratch a post.

Karen was so pleased with the result, she’s gotten ideas about our other perches. But first, she needed to salvage the remaining sisal, a job not made any easier by Tony romping all over it, biting at it like she was playing. We’ve got this much left…

Karen thinks there’s enough left to give Tony’s favorite blue perch at the top of the stairs a refurb…

We’ll need to get more sisal for the short perch by the living room window that screams for attention…

And then there’s that tall perch next to the couch…

The lower level there where Mickey and the Teds hang out could also use some love…

I’m glad Adele isn’t here to see this because she believed “Every Cat’s an Artist” and called all these perches “art installations.” She’d be spitting mad and fluff-tailed to have her creative endeavors sisaled over.

Speaking of outrage, Karen has been wondering why we all suddenly stopped fighting over Max’s favorite kitty bed near the sliding glass door. She found her answer while taking these photos…

There was a hairball on Max’s favorite cuddle toy, Cattey. By the color, it could belong to anybody, but she’ll never find out who because we’re cats, not rats…

(PS: You’ll be relieved to know that Cattey is fine. The hairball had dried out and came off without leaving a stain. I hope you weren’t eating dinner while you read this.)

UPDATE FROM KAREN: A few hours after Roc posted this story, I went downstairs and caught him giving the new sisal post a going over. He looked at me with his, “Am I in the doghouse?” expression, but the sisal stood up to him hanging on it beautifully. So, it looks like full steam ahead on sprucing up the other perches.


Roc Launches a Charm Crusade

April 15, 2021

By Karen

Lately, Max has been joining the rest of us downstairs in the evening. After Adele died, he assumed her duty of signaling when it was time for after-dinner treats and fish flakes by scratching on the bookcase where I keep them.

Max tends to rotate where he settles down for TV after that. Until a few weeks ago, he stayed in his bed near the sliding door. But now he’s back on the purple blanket on the couch.

This is where it gets weird. Roc has been joining Max in the friendliest manner he can muster. (This doesn’t leave much room for me to stretch out, BTW.) And Max is warily OK with it.

I took these photos on three different nights…

April 1, Max: “What the @*$%* does Roc think he’s doing? I was here first.”
April 6, Max: “I’ll just pretend he isn’t here.”
April 7, Max: “Mickey and the Teds have my back, but best to keep one eye open, just in case.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve had detente after five years. Years ago, when Cole finally discovered my bed and started sleeping there, Adele, who had been a firm fixture, immediately vacated. She moved to a bed I put on my dresser so she could give Cole the stink-eye all night.

Five years later, she did a 180 and became perfectly cordial to Cole. Unfortunately, by then Cole’s kidneys were beginning to fail and he only got to enjoy a year of Adele’s friendship before he left us…

Adele finally joined Cole on my bed

And now after five years, Roc suddenly seems to be trying to buddy up to Max.

I know you’re probably wondering if/how Tony figures into all of this. He’s making like Switzerland and staying neutral. While Roc has fur-on-fur contact with Max, Tony may be in his little bed on the hearth…

After I cleared my winter knitting supplies off it, Tony discovered the big chair (I crocheted myself a plush throw like the couch cat blankie — I DO NOT recommend that chenille yarn. It’s a bitch to work with.)…

You may remember, directly behind the big chair is the new gray perch I had to assemble from scratch. It’s become Tony’s spot. He uses every inch except that hammock at the bottom, and he’ll lounge on it for hours, day or night. I’ve even seen him using the sisal scratching posts after he saw Roc do it.


Tony Wishes You a Happy Thanksgiving

November 26, 2020

By Tony

I’m posting today because I have the most news to share, and I’m celebrating my first Thanksgiving where I’m not a crazy kitten who has no idea it’s a special day.

The Wormald family decided to skip the big get-together at Karen’s sister’s, but Sis is cooking anyway and sending plates to everyone. We cats expect to score some turkey for dinner.

Yesterday, Karen went to the Richmond Animal League to pick up her 2021 calendars featuring moi as Mr. July — AND this portrait I got as a thank you for my fundraising (which YOU GUYS made possible)…

It was painted by local artist Lynn Black, owner of Paint For Good. I think she really captured my “Toniness,” don’t you?

I also have a new hobby, thanks to Karen recently becoming interested in ghosts again. She watches this show called Paranormal Caught on Camera and I’ve become obsessed with the UFO sightings. It started out innocently enough, although Karen says I’ll ruin my eyes sitting so close to the TV…

Next thing I knew, I HAD to catch those things!…

I’ve been doing this almost every time a UFO story comes on, dashing to the TV from wherever I am. Unfortunately, the room is dark so Karen’s not having much luck catching me on camera. Ironic, huh?

But I know you must be dying to find out what Karen did with our old kitty perches after the new furry one took center stage. BTW, we’re keeping the box it came in for a while because it’s a great playpen. I keep my new favorite yellow sparkle ball there (the old blue one has disappeared)…

So, the beige perch is now beside the couch, where the tatty blue one was…

Roc and I still do our claw workouts there because we’re trying to keep the new furry perch nice and not get yelled at.

Remember the flamingos? They’ve moved and the blue perch has taken their place at the top of the stairs!

This is exciting because it makes going upstairs a lot more fun. Max says that looking out the little window has been every kitty’s Holy Grail. Now we’re the first ones who get to use it anytime we want without risking our necks…

Now I love the balcony…

So does Max…

And here’s a very rare shot of ALL of us sharing the perch (that black shadow at the bottom is Roc). Karen was hoping this is what would happen on the new furry one, but whatevs. We’re cats…

All of us at Cats Working wish everyone a Happy, Safe and Healthy Thanksgiving. And don’t forget to share the turkey with your kitties!


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