The Things We Do for Love: “We Built a Cat Expressway in Our Living Room”
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.
Lifelong cat lover Dusty Rainbolt and her husband, Weems Hutto, are willing to take whatever steps necessary to keep their cats happy and comfortable. In fact, they’ve devised a way to give their six family cats (and various foster cats) the run of the house — across a shelving system 11 feet off the ground!
When the couple bought their Dallas-area home more than a decade ago, they were particularly drawn to the high ceilings and the loft overlooking the living room. “We knew the cats would love it,” Rainbolt says.
They were right. In fact, the cats enjoyed being up high so much that Rainbolt and Hutto began seeking other options that would give the cats additional elevated spots in the house.
They first added a Kitty Cat Loft to their home, complete with a penthouse platform and a spiral staircase. The cats took to the structure right away but were hesitant when climbing up and down the staircase. So, to make it easier for the cats to access and enjoy the penthouse, the couple added another climbing tree next to it so the cats could jump from one structure to the next and up to the platform.
“Cats are hardwired to be elevated,” Rainbolt says. “They feel safe up there, and they have a good time.”
Getting From Here to There
The elevated platform was so popular with the house full of cats that the couple decided to increase the number of “high” options.
Rainbolt visited a local craft store for the perfect solution. She found shelving that would accommodate the cats' weight and movement and, one by one, bolted different-sized shelves to the wall at varying heights and angles. Soon, there were enough shelves so the cats could walk from the Kitty Cat Loft platform in one corner of the room to the other corner of the room, where Rainbolt installed another platform.
Now, the largest wall in the room is a literal kitty cat expressway. Rainbolt says at any given time, there’s a cat (or two) lounging on the platforms and “surveying” the room from above.
While other families might have chosen to showcase artwork on that expansive wall where the shelves now hang, Rainbolt and Hutto elected to dedicate it to the cats.
“It’s not all that attractive,” Rainbolt says with a laugh. “But it’s all about the cats, and they don’t care what it looks like!”
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.