Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cats and Antiques Re-purposing a Chest of Drawers

Cats like comfortable furniture. Give me a soft bench or comfy sofa and I'm a happy cat. Getting into bed with my humans makes me grateful for our lives together. If it's raining, as it is today, and cold, there is nothing better than a warm bed with humans.

I've read on the 'net about households with multiple cats. I'm in this situation. I share a litter box with my brother, Fish. My nanny is my dog, Sister. Andy, the indoor/outdoor Alpha, lives here with us. Four animals means a cat doesn't get much privacy. I love that my Mom loves me but I can't get much peace on the days she picks me up to kiss me over and over again.

Every now and then, I need to get away from the others. I may want to nap or think or play with a string without help from anyone. I've discovered a new way of getting privacy!

Take an antique or older chest of drawers. Clean it with water and Murphy's oil soap. You can wash wood if you don't use too much water and don't let the water stand on the wood. Dry thoroughly. I suggest Murphy's because it's easy on the cat nose. Don't use too much of it!

Remove the drawers. Take off the drawer fronts. Remove enough of the back of the dresser so you can get your hands, tools and head into it.

Glue the drawer fronts back onto the dresser. You are creating faux drawers and leaving the interior empty.

Drill discreet holes into the dresser at various points. Keep the chest of drawers looking like a normal piece of furniture but make "look out holes", maybe three. Clean around the holes with a dry rag. You may need to use sandpaper to clean the cut holes and to remove any splintery wood.

Enter the dresser from the back where you've removed either all the wood or a panel for access. Place a perch of some kind into the chest. You can purchase one that will fit or use a plastic crate that will fit inside. Do not use a cardboard box because you may encourage roaches to use the space. I don't mind roaches but humans get cranky if any get into the house. We live in the tropics so roaches are our problem. Maybe you don't have any bugs. Adjust for your situation.

Place a warm rug, blanket or soft thing inside the chest. Put one on top of the perch and one on the bottom of the chest.

Leave a cat sized opening on the back of the chest when you replace the back panel. You may wish to cut a flap door with brass hinges on the side near the back but this takes more power tools than I'm allowed to use. Easy access is the purpose here. Leave the chest a few inches away from the wall so when the chest is placed, a cat can enter it.

If your cat doesn't know that the chest is for, put some catnip inside the chest. Then push her or him inside the first time.

Put a lamp on the chest and a few photos of your cat/cats on the top. Your goal is to provide your cat with a private retreat while making the chest of drawers look like a regular piece of furniture.

Yours (looking for a job on HGTV),



Molly said...

Dear Whistle,
I think you would be great on TV. You are a very good host. At least that's what my mom tells me!
I like to lie on the couch and stretch out as far as I can.
Your friend,

DogBlogger said...

Dear Whistle,
You are a very smart cat.
I would still chase you if I met you, though.
We have a very sturdy homemade dog door that involved power tools. It took some getting used to, but it's nice.

PPB said...

Dear Whistle. What a lovely idea! I don't have any extra space in my apartment, but if I ever had an apartment with extra space, I would get a kitty cat hideaway for my cats. They work hard and deserve it.