Repurposing An Old Cat Tree

 

IMG_2516Breathing new life into something old…My first instinct is how can I fix it. Tossing stuff out and buying new is always easier, but not always easier on the wallet, and besides that, I don’t always find the “new” better than what I already have. They just don’t make things like they used to. All too often I find that statement is so true. Though in this case, my cat tree is nothing special and yes, you can find this style and probably better, but my cats like it and that’s most important. So I’m going to spiffy this one up.

Before I show you what I did, remember when I made a cat tree/bed out of a wooden spool? You can see it here… That was when I found out how much they really liked to scratch on sisal. Which is why I chose to use sisal to freshen up this tree instead of wrap more carpet around it. I may do carpet again another time, but I have a few rolls of sisal, so sisal it is! Here’s what I did…

Supplies:

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one old cat tree

sisal rope

hot glue gun

glue sticks

scissors

vacuum

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Vacuum the tree really well. I usually get to it about once a week to help keep the hair down in the house. If I didn’t vacuum the house a few times a day, it would look like I live in a “hair” house! Ack!!!!

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Cut/trim off any strings or carpet strands. See the hair? That’s because I had helpers while trimming, hence the need to vacuum a lot! Good thing I can vacuum the cats too. I put on the brush attachment and go at them. They actually like it! 🙂

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I really let this tree go! You know, “Oh I will get to it later?”…

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After trimming loose parts, I hot glued down carpet parts that have loosened. (That’s Evan the dog. He is one of the sweetest pups I’ve had the privilege to have in my life. He’s got the most unique fur. I will feature him in a post one day. He’s so cool, he has his own instagram!)

Depending on how your tree was originally made… I found the carpet was stapled along the seam. That’s fine, but if the cats scratched it loose around the stapled part, then the whole carpet piece was loose. I cut parts of the carpet off. Later on, I realized I could have left it. Either way I found it worked whether I left the carpet loose or cut it off.

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Choose a good place to start. I hot glued at the beginning of the sisal rope and then as I wound the rope around I added more hot glue. I wanted this good and tight as I know my cats and they really, really love to scratch on sisal. 

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Here you can see I decided to cut off the carpet. I didn’t see the sense in leaving a little piece here and there, though I doubt it would have made a difference under the sisal. BTW, that’s Chaz. My helper for the moment. 

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Chaz didn’t move at all. I guess he found what I did interesting.

Find another section that needs sisal and keep on hot glueing around and around and around…

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and around…

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That’s Spencer at the top this time and Eva peeking through! One more leg to go…

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The last leg! Finally.

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Done!

Easy project. This did take longer than I expected. I think having “helpers” added to the time, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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This time, at the top, is Sherlock. Aptly named as he is our most curious cat! And Chaz who is always good for relaxing “down at the club”. 

Tree looks much better! The best part is, the cats are happy to use it!

Tips:

Hot glue is HOT so be careful. You can use a chop stick or a screw driver to hold the sisal in place for a few seconds as it dries.

Sisal can poke into your skin. I had to tweeze out a couple “splinters”. You can wear leather gloves. I just sucked it up! Hahaha. I don’t do well with gloves. Which is why I have to deal with poison ivy on my hands when I’m out doing yard work.

You can hot glue a section and just wrap the sisal around a few times and then glue another small section. You don’t really need to glue every inch as you go along.

If your cat prefers carpet, home improvement stores carry carpet remnants. Rugs are also great and you can buy them at places like Target. They are smaller and easier to handle. I’ve used a good razor blade knife (be super careful) and cut the sizes I need.

The sisal I used for this project I bought at HomeDepot a couple of years ago. I did a check and they still carry sisal. Make sure it’s all natural, free from chemicals. This one states:  Safe for use with pet toys like cat scratching posts. Natural fiber-twisted rope is biodegradable and economical. Home Depot also ships! Since this project used up the last of my stock, I will be getting more. Sisal is really handy and I use it for many projects.

We know how finicky cats can be, so I hope this gives you an option to redo a cat tree your kitty already loves!

You are FABULOUS for reading this far! And I thank you so much for doing so! I hope you have a purrfectly happy day!

Koko

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No More Kisses!

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“Come on Mom, my friends are watching!”

I guess she wanted no part of loving. LOL…It’s incredible to me how much I’ve come to adore this furry little monster.  She’s comical at times, cheeky at best, and loving when only when it’s me and her. If one of her adopted siblings are around, she doesn’t dare snuggle.  She’s off in some hidden place as if to say, “I want mom to myself”.

Today is Monday.  Labor Day here in the United States.  Everyone is supposed to take the day off.  It also signals the end of BBQ season.  In fashion it’s the end of wearing light summer suits for men and the white pants for women.  It’s an interesting custom, one which I don’t practice.  I for one BBQ year round and if I want to wear white in the winter, so be it.

I am off to the market for BBQ things.  I don’t know if I have ever barbecued on Labor Day before.  It just happens the whole family is home and it’s such a beautiful day, grilling just makes sense.  So to you all out there, I hope your day is BBQ beautiful and you are out enjoying it…..Koko❀ ✿ ❁ ✾

A Game of Cat and Mouse…

I start my day with making my bed.  Simple enough, one would think.  What you don’t know is I sleep with a demon…”gasp!”  No, not what you think.  And I’m not referring to my husband; I’m referring to a tiny-colorful-furry-four-legged-minx of a demon kitty.  She is the tiniest of the seven.  Yes you read that right; I have seven felines, (for another time and another story).

So this demon is pretty much the only one who comes in my bedroom.  It’s a game to her, I think, to wake me up in the night.  Most of the time it’s because she’s lost her toy (a hairpin; her favorite thing in the world and I am NOT kidding! Erm, maybe besides me 😉 ) Or, she has forgotten where she last left me; in bed!  She will cry, and talk, and chirp, but sometimes if I am lucky, she finds me asleep, and she will snuggle down beside me, real close; like she is a part of me, and sleep like the sweet angel I know she can be.  If my breathing changes, she knows! If I open my eyes ever so slightly, she knows!  I don’t think she ever really sleeps.  I think she stays awake, and when no one is watching, she sharpens her horns she cleverly hides close to her ears.

She lays in waiting until she knows I am awake.  Wait for it…wait for it…(This is the demon coming out in her.)…and then she pounces!  If I wiggle my feet she leaps like a rabid monkey and attacks my toes. Any slight movement and I turn into her prey.  She hunts me like a lioness stalking a rabbit.  Crouching down in position ready to make her move.

This is how I wake up when she’s in the room!  So I lint roll my bed.  Hardly any hair, but that is because I have this ritual of keeping things mostly clean; mostly.  Brushing teeth and doing my kick backs (gotta tighten those buns!), my little demon watches and waits.  I ignore her thinking that if I pretend she isn’t there, she isn’t really as adorable as she looks.  I sneak a peak, and between rep forty five; dang it, she caught me looking.  She falls on her back and chirps and lets out a meow only a mother could love.  “Okay, fine! I love her!”  I rub her belly with my bare foot and she clamps down like a ninja ready to do battle with Chinese stars for nails.

I finish brushing my teeth, bun muscles are burning from the repetitions, I pick her up, (ignoring the charlie horse that wants to rear it’s head because I didn’t stretch).  She wraps herself around my arm, mimicking a python squeezing its victim. She thinks she’s doing damage, but all she’s doing is making me laugh.

I am getting dressed and she is ready, as in, as soon as I open my closet she rushes in to hide.  (As if I didn’t see that coming!)  I toss on my usual; shorts and t-shirt and I call out to her.  I’ve got a long list of things to do and she can’t stay in there.  She ignores me because she has selective hearing; which she is quite good at.  In her next life she will come back as a kid, I know this because my human children suffer from the same selective hearing.

I look for a hair pin.  And I toss it, and out from hiding she comes.  Works like a charm, every time! She finds her hair pin and brings it back to me meowing and chirping with it in her mouth.  She’s a practicing ventriloquist.  How she can talk without moving her lips!  Astonishing!  I take the pin from her and save it for later.  She bolts. And it’s my turn to crouch down.  I peek around my bathroom sink and say, “Boo!”.  She crouches too and starts to sneak.  I run over behind the door and peak out and say, “Boo!” and she sneaks closer. This goes on until one of us gets close enough to pounce.

This is the game we play.  Silly albeit, but a game I look forward to, from the time she finally settles down to sleep, to the peak-a-boo game the next morning.  My little demon makes me smile.  And everyone should start their day with a smile.

Hope you have a smile kinda day!

Paws and kisses, Koko

Is Your Cat In Pain? Signs To Look For.

Cats are master disguisers of pain. How are we to know when they are in pain? What are the signs?

First off, I hope you know your pet well. If not, get to know her, after all you are her life line. You are whom she puts her trust in. You are the one that feeds her and grooms her and hopefully plays with her. You know her likes, dislikes, wants, and needs. You know things that make her jump; fireworks, rowdy kids, doggie that loves to chase her…

How about the new kitty you’ve adopted or the one you are fostering? How can you tell if she is in pain? Here are some tips in how you can tell if your feline needs more than love, food, and comfort.

What is the difference between being scared or outright pain?

Is your kitty suddenly running off to dark small spaces?
Is she wailing/crying for no apparent reason?
When you touch her does she shy away/bite at you/claw at you?
Touch her paws and move up each leg. Feel around her neck, down her spine, around her tummy. How does she react? (That was the way I had confirmed my kitties pain and what needed to be done.)
Does she seem abnormally tired/sleepy/not as active?
Any signs of discharge from eyes/ears/bottom?
Is she eating normally?
How about her facial expressions? Is she holding her ears back or in an odd way? Are her eyes glazed/sad-looking? (When one of my kitties was ill, I could tell by the look in his eyes. He had a sad hollow look. His whiskers sort of turned down. He was having some issues with his urinary tract…BTW; he’s completely recovered, yay!)
Look at how she walks. Is her back hunched? Does she hang her head low?
Is her breathing odd, too slow/too fast?
Is she pacing the room as if she can’t get comfortable; laying down only to get right back up?

Hopefully some of these tips will help clue you in on your kitty’s pain. Noticing the pain is the first sign in helping her get better. The signs will be there if you just take a moment to look. Paws and kisses…Koko

Mellow Yellow…

Perfect color for summer.  Sunny yellow!  It’s actually called “Mellow Yellow”,  by Sally Hansen; their Xtreme line.  It’s so pretty.  Instant happiness!  I painted three coats of this color; no bottom coat, no top coat, and the polished lasted over a week.  That is saying a lot coming from me, since my hands touch water 20 or more times a day, plus I’m out in the garden daily.   Needless to say, my hands take a beating and the polish stayed strong.  I’m thinking if I was easy on my hands I’d probably get well over two weeks on this; sadly,  the world will never know!  😉  The kitty is pretty too, don’t you think?

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