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FURRY BOOTS Norwegian Forest Cats


Norwegian Forest Cats - Companions with Character!


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The cats like this outdoor run
attached to the house at the back
via the back door. It used to be an
old carriagehouse, so the roof and
cement floor where there to use.
I added 2x4 studs vertical and along
the floor, and added green garden mesh
joined with rope and stapled to 2x4 planks.
(2 inch x 4 inch by 8 foot planks.)
The shed in the background is not
part of the enclosure but provides
additonal wind protection. It used to be
the carriage driver's cottage.

The same run as above, but with wood
panels on the bad weather side halfway
up, and plastic garden lattice 4 foot by
8 foot panels in front to match the
similar looking white wood panels of
the front porch of the house - to give a
uniform appearance. This was a rented
place, so it had to please the landlord
and be removable with no evident
damage when I moved out 2 yrs later.
Note cement floor was already there.
Still the same enclosure which is 20 foot
by 16 foot. I used scraps of building planks
to nail diagonals here and there, and also
just random planks sticking out or making
a palce to nail on bits of carpet as "seating"
accommodation. I had my own garden
plastic table and chairs in there too,
so it was still my back porch where I could
play with the cats.
The 1/4 inch sisal rope joining the green mesh
panels was also used to wrap some poles
to provide scratching post areas. Spare bits
of planks were also sisal wrapped and nailed
onto posts here and there. (Also prevented
wooden posts being sprayed.)
And toys could be hung from the roof rafters.
This run was made with galvanized steel
panels which were readily available, and
the roof was the same, so open to the
weather. Norwegian Forest Cats are
happy in the worst weather of course.
It is a small run attached to the house
outside a window, as an outdoor fun area.
I often set up access to a run through a
basement or other window as you'll see
later in the series. I like to be able to see
and hear what's going on in the run from the
house, and we chat back and forth. I've used
a intercom at times too to monitor things.
Depending where I lived, I used whatever
material was readily available. Here there
is corrugated roofing leftovers just right for
a large lounging area, rigged up on various
planks attached to the main supports.
Chainlink fence is a good material if
you can get it reasonably inexpensively.
This was one of my best achievements
in a catrun, as it was attached to the
back of the house inside a walled garden
and made use of the back wall of the
house, the 8 foot wall separating the
property from the neighbor, and a tree
which was ideally positioned to allow
cats to climb up into the upstairs bath-
room widow, where I stood to take this
photo. This run was 18 foot long, 8 foot
wide, and two stories high. There was free
access to the tiled bathroom for the studs.
Minerva doing the demos is one of my
queens however :-)))

Here Minerva is resting 8 foot up, where
the lower chainlink fence ends, as I could
only get rolls 8 foot wide maximum, so it is
8 foot high, and then it is joined to the
sloping chickenwire roof higher up, with
shadecloth. This was in South Africa so
there was a need to protect against sun
arriving through the break in the ozone
hole over the South Pole - which causes
skin cancer easily. Note the join with good
nylon rope between fencing and cloth.
There were several layers of cloth used.
Quite by accident, this rather sloppy join
made the most wonderful walkway and
hammock system my cats ever had.

I could not find poles for the corners I needed
to make, that were long enough for a two-
storey height. Also, it was not a full two
stories at the outer end - but went up to two
stories in order to fully use the upstairs
window access, and to use a join to the
top of the roof gable which was wood so
easy to join to, the house itself being brick.
So the height for poles was met by smply
lashing two positioned one above the other
plus a third plank as a "splint" lashing it all
together. The cats thought it was a stepladder.

I was in a hurry when I built this, and the "lump"
at the top of the pole consists of several layers
of shadecloth scrap sewn together with carpet
thread to make a cap for the pole, so that it
did not chafe through the shadecloth roofing.
The chickenwire was on TOP of the shadecloth
as that looked nicer - and the shadecloth was
sewn to it with that carpet thread (polyester
so as not to rot in the sun) before the whole
"roof" was erected. Some careful dressmaking
measurements were made, and nothing was
critical as chickenwire and shadecloth are
very forgiving if you don't get it within a millimeter
. (So are rope joins!)

Here Minerva is continuing with the game
started above, to fetch a little poly ball I
threw for her from the bathroom window.
She fetches it by dashig to the "hammock"
level, catching it before it falls.
She'll walk as far as she can at the
hammock join, but then it becomes too
narrow nearer the wall, and she will hang
from it and continue hand over hand!
Here she moves sideways while hanging
and swinging from front paws, going along the
hammock level join till she gets to the best
place to drop near the end wall where it is
lowest to the ground.

There she drops about 6 feet,
to the sloping concrete floor
and dashes over to the tree to climb to
the window and hand me the ball.
As I say this run was very successful,
and my cats were fit!

The concrete floor is one I laid myself
and I found the mixing very hard work as
I was determined to make the floor sloping
and it used a lot of concrete. My idea was
to be able to very quickly hose off the floor
to keep it fresh. When the concrete was set,
I added a screed layer of smoother stuff
then three layers of slick stoep paint.
Phew!!! But - Worked like a charm.

On the floor there were also three large
plastic dog kennels with separate plastic floors.
These were for the litter tray, the extra
waterbowl, and for a hideout from weather
though the last one was used more
as a slippery slide to slide down for fun.
No food was in the run, my studs were
expected to tree climb into the bathroom for
food and it helped them keep fit. I always try
to make the boys climb for food.

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