Monday, April 24, 2006
Slowly I've been trying to get the house under control. Especially the shabby things that are the fault of my cat habit. This mess, for example, which is the cat tree in my office. If you could close the door on my office, this might be OK. But my "office" is in fact the landing of our stairway (we are big on square footage, but small on actual rooms with doors). This cat tree was made by our friend Martha and when she moved she wasn't sure it would fit in with their new house. So it came to live with us. I recarpeted it in purple (it was cheap...purple carpet is always cheap) and replaced the sisal rope. But that was almost two years ago, and it obviously could use some help.
This is what the cats have done. They actually do claw right through the rope over time (as many of you know).
First step, take off the old stuff. In its various bits and pieces.
Then I just used the previous pound-in staples to attach the new piece of rope. I didn't take all of the old rope off. This stuff costs money, so if it has some life in it, I leave it. There are people who are fussy about multi-colored cat trees and want new rope of the same color. Those people either make more money than I do, or they probably haven't rewound cats trees twenty times or so. Or maybe their houses are just a lot nicer than mine. Around here, three different colors of rope on the cat tree is the least I have to worry about in my decorating scheme.
Then wind it around the cat tree, trying to hold it fairly tightly. This gets boring very rapidly, so if you have dreams of a floor-to-ceiling sisal cat tree, realize it will take almost ten packages of rope, a couple hours of work, and many many little rope slivers. I had one of those in our previous home. The cats loved it. I loved it. It was hilarious watching them climb to the ceiling. I replaced the rope about four times and believe me, I've never been tempted to install one in this house.
This is the important part. You have to pound the rope down tight as you work. Really pound it. Otherwise, the cats will drag it down as they claw it over time, and you'll have ugly gaps.
Well, that's one section done. The upper levels aren't too bad, so I may let the cats destroy them more completely before replacing them. Well, that middle section may have to go. See what I mean about the cats dragging it down and making gaps?
I have an actual storebought cat tree in the dining area. It was ripped to shreds as well, and since it's the first thing people see when they come in the door, I was glad to replace the rope. I needed Mark's help taking the tunnel off, because (of course) it didn't use a standard phillips head screwdriver and I gave up happily as soon as he said "Need help?"
The calico is Cricket. She has only three legs, but it doesn't stop her from going straight to the top of the tree to hang out in the crow's nest.