The Things We Do for Love: “I Turned My Patio Into a Cat-io”
Published on June 19, 2012
Caroline Golon, the human behind popular humor blog Romeo the Cat, shares stories of pet owners who have gone the extra mile for their pets in this series, The Things We Do for Love.
Liz Eastwood of Oakland, Calif., and her partner, Robert, want their indoor cats, Joel and Phil, to have the best lives possible. That includes building a special outdoor play area just for them!
The couple first discovered their cats’ love for the outdoors two years ago when they bought them a “kitty walk,” and put it outside in the backyard. The kitty walk is a short cat run with a tower and hammocks. “They loved it so much that we even added an extra section onto it,” says Eastwood. The cats enjoyed the kitty walk until a wild animal chewed a hole in one side of it, and Phil escaped. Luckily, the couple was able to retrieve him before he went too far, but they knew they had to find a different option to give their cats the outdoor time they craved.
“My cats mean the world to me,” says Eastwood, a lifelong cat lover. “I want them to experience everything they can and let them have as much fun as possible.”
Exploring All the Options
It took nearly two years for Eastwood to find the right solution for her cats. She originally wanted to fence in the entire yard, but realized that, with local wildlife like raccoons and skunks digging around the base of the fence, it would be hard to keep the enclosure secure.
She considered a variety of fencing options, but none were ideal. Finally, she hired a handyman with excellent building skills who helped her find the perfect solution.
They determined that the 20' x 15' foot deck off the back of Eastwood’s house could be converted into a safe and secure outdoor area for the cats. First, they enclosed the deck with wooden lattice, coupled with a netting called “cat fence,” so the cats couldn’t scale and jump the fence. Finally, Eastwood added a gate.
Joel and Phil love their new outdoor space. When they’re not looking for squirrels and chasing bugs, the pair simply lounges in the sun.
Eastwood says the cats particularly enjoy going outside onto “their” deck around dusk. And when it’s time to come inside for the night? Eastwood says it’s not easy to get the cats to give up the fun. “We have to bribe them with treats to come inside,” she says, laughing.
What do you do for love? We’re looking for the funny, sweet and special stories that will make other pet parents smile. Email us at [email protected] to share your story. Please put "The Things We Do for Love" in the subject line.