No, not that kind of cat-house. I mean home design that’s properly feline-accessible.
Back in Grey Kitty’s prime, when I first moved in with my boyfriend in Berlin (the same guy who’s now my husband), we slept in a loft bed in a one-room apartment. Well, two out of three of us did. GK was initially banned from the bed. But one day, in a blur of spinning, clutching paws, she scrambled gracelessly up the ladder and glared down at us defiantly. GK specialized in glaring. She did it very, very well.
My mate followed her up the ladder and pitched her kindly but firmly out of bed.
GK climbed up again. And again. And again. Until finally she wore down the humans and occupied her rightful place between the two pillows.
In the long run, this was probably incredibly stupid, because my partner developed a serious cat allergy and we are now catless. It’s possible that he could have avoided the allergy – or at least the resultant asthma – had she slept elsewhere. Be that as it may, for as long as we lived in that little studio, she stayed ensconced in that bed.
We all stayed in that apartment so long, in fact, that GK started to grow old. She still clambered up the ladder as clumsily and gamely as ever. But she never did learn how to climb down again. She was always climbing-impaired from kittenhood onward, though that’s a whole ‘nother story. Her egress was to leap – plunk! – onto the backrest of a couch. As her catty knees grew sensitive, it obviously hurt her to make the four-foot jump.
My husband (who by then was sniffling and wheezing like crazy) responded by building her a ramp from the bed onto the couch.
GK had it good, all right. And yet, if she’d seen this, she’d have felt entirely neglected.