At the Still Point of the Turning World
Residency is over, NOW what? (While I'm waiting for the answer, I'll get some spinning done....)

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

OPERATION CATHOUSE


(Okay, silly title.) In addition to everything else that's going on these days, I'm getting ready to move my cats Shroom and Zafu to Salinas to live with me. You can see their photos here. They have always been indoor/outdoor cats, but once they move in with me, I'm going to keep them indoors. I live in a large apartment complex and I'm afraid that if they get out, they'll roam away and then I'll have to shut myself up in my home for the rest of my life, and then who will take my share of call?

(Yes, I know I'm cat-astrophizing.)

There seems to be no end of things to do to prepare for their arrival. I've been busily reorganizing the second bedroom of this apartment to be a fully-serviceable fiber studio, so I can store all my projects away behind closed doors and away from curious paws. I have to find a place for all of the journals and papers I have stacked everywhere; my cats tend to work their mischief on these unattended piles (think territorial markings :-o). I have to figure out where to place at least two litterboxes--perhaps three--and where to store supplies of litter and kibble. They both need their annual physicals and microchip identification placement (here's more information about microchip-ing your pets). I need to lay in some odor-eliminating supplies, just in case they decide to act out when they get here. I'm thinking of trying out the Planet Urine system, if only for the fun of ordering from such an aptly-named company.

Because they're going to be indoor-only cats from now on, I'm thinking of installing a cat enclosure on my upper balcony (I have a split-level apartment, with a loft bedroom and a patio on each level). There are several vendors of already-prepared enclosures: Ultralite, C &D Pet Products, and CD & E Animal World Enclosures are the ones I'm looking at. These enclosures are really big cages with platforms installed at several levels. They permit the cats to have some fresh air and sunshine but prevent them from exposure to predators, cars and other dangers. Unfortunately, they're quite expensive. I have to keep an eye on the move-in budget because I have to pay a hefty pet deposit up-front.

A less expensive alternative would be to install a locking screen door on my upstairs patio (the current one doesn't lock, and Shroom knows how to open screen doors :-P) and place a deluxe cat tree near the door. I have a certain affection for the cat trees that really look like trees--something the Keebler elves would live in, like these. You can even get a cat tree shaped like a Saghuaro cactus! However, practically everyone I'm related to thinks these things are hideous, and they're fairly expensive so I probably won't indulge in one--yet.

No matter how I do it, this will be a costly move. I have a feeling my drumcarder purchase will be postponed indefinitely. That's okay--the safety and happiness of my cats comes first. Besides, I think they'll get a kick out of having all that hand-flicked fiber around....

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