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The Sassy Sandpiper: Ar-CAT- ecture

Wilson | Sassy Sandpiper | Columnist

By M.R. Wilson, TB Reporter

When you offer accommodations to a cat, other accommodations follow.

They steal your heart. They rob your bed. Next, they subtly—or not so subtly—make you remodel your house.


First were the scratching posts, which were largely ignored. Woodwork around doors was more appealing. Perhaps it was the way layers of antique paint curled under their claws with every stretch. Old chunks of carpet nailed to the flayed areas saved the woodwork but made the place look like Dogpatch, U.S.A.

But what do cats care? Carpet serves them well, as it shreds nicely and is tasty to eat. They surely laugh, hearing me shriek and swear as I clean up barfed carpet.

Home Depot Wish List: materials to replace woodwork all over the house.

Home contents must be cat-proofed. I’m certain this is just as challenging—if not more so—than child-proofing, as human toddlers do not typically jump seven feet to the top of a bookcase.

I am fond of keepsakes, and every horizontal surface in my home was fair game for adornment. Once the kittens became cats, I had to de-clutter, which in my case, meant hiding things elsewhere rather than parting with anything permanently. I am not a hoarder, but family treasures must be kept. Nothing allowed on the piano. Nothing atop the refrigerator. No coffee table books, as one about fish with a lovely woven cover was shredded within hours.

Sassy Sandpiper | M.R. Wilson | Cats

Cats require their humans to buy them furniture. Three cat condos grace my home. Cats may also require new construction projects; perhaps an outdoor Kitty Kabana for their litter boxes, with a cat door passage from the dining room. Does it appear they would enjoy a contraption affixed to a bookcase near another contraption above a door to allow slinking from one room to another?

Build it and they will slink!

What once was linen storage space in the top tier of an open closet must be cleared of its blankets and sheets to become a Cat Loft.

Only minimal items survive on a chest of drawers. Any undesirables are pawed to the floor or kicked carelessly out of the way in a chase with littermates or in the sublime act of getting comfy.

My desk was once a place of happy chaos. Writing things everywhere. Books. Cherished mementos. All relocated, first by the felines to the floor, where they were more conveniently played with, then by yours truly to preserve them.

I’ve even rearranged my kitchen.

Forget ceramic trivets and hand-woven pot holders on the microwave oven. Utensils and spices handily near the stove have been moved to the farthest realms of counters, near the walls. I hold my breath. I remember when a large ginger jar, a gift from my late brother, crashed to the floor. A milk glass banana holder, in the family for generations, met a similar fate.

Only love tolerates such innocent destruction, holds no grudges, but asks simply, “What can I do to make the place better suited for cats?”

Photo of Killian courtesy of M.R. Wilson.

Sassy Sandpiper | M.R. Wilson | Cats | Pets | Animals | Cat Furniture | TB Reporter

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The Sassy Sandpiper: Ar-CAT- ecture
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The Sassy Sandpiper: Ar-CAT- ecture
When you offer accommodations to a cat, other accommodations follow.
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TB Reporter
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