September 20, 2010

Handicapped accessible cat pen

 
This is Skittles.  Skittles has been with us for about 10 years.  Skittles and his two brothers were being fed in a trailer park by an elderly lady, but they were not socialized.  Even though we took them in when they were around 12 weeks old, Skittles is still pretty feral.  We cannot touch him unless he decides to get in the bed with us, and even then he limits the amount of contact.  It breaks my heart how distrustful and fearful he is, but I know he has had a good life here with us...as good as it gets for a feral cat confined to an indoor environment.

Recently, Skittles has begun to have problems with his back legs.  He can still walk and get around, but his gait is wonky.  He will walk a few steps, sit down, then walk a few more steps.  Because of his feral-ness, it is not easy to just pick him up and take him to a vet, so we have been keeping a watchful eye on him.  We have been able put pressure on his legs and back end, which has not elicited any pain or discomfort from him, yet his condition seems to be deteriorating.  We live in a tri-level house and he can still manage the stairs, as well as get into our bed via the cat steps we originally set up for Otis, the love sponge.  However, he is having an increasingly difficult time getting onto the ledge in our den and out to the cat pen, which is a favorite spot for all our felines.  After watching Skittles' failed attempts to jump onto the ledge from the cedar trunk, I told Neal I had a project for him. It was time to build Skittles a ladder.

I mentioned to Neal that the neighbor down the street had put out a pile of scrap lumber with a "free" sign on it, so off he went to retrieve what he needed to build the ladder.  Most of his power tools are at The Ranch, but within an hour or so, Neal managed to throw together a perfect handicapped accessible ladder using hand tools.  He even cut in fancy notches to secure it to the ledge (pay no attention to the dirty ledge, please).

Nadia was gracious about sharing her favorite snoozing spot with the new contraption.  We have yet to see Skittles try out the ladder, but I have no doubt he will eventually.   Thanks to my talented, creative husband who loves the critters as much as I do, Skittles can now get out to the cat pen without much difficulty.

2 comments:

jasperlilith said...

i love that you did that for him and i love the fact that you now have a ladder in your living room! you are good people.

Lilla said...

Thanks, Daune! Anything for our babies :)