|The kitties giving it a good sniffing!|
|Seriously, kitten therapy works EVERY TIME!|
|To be fair, Juniper LOVED this. So did Beatrice.|
|Sylvia and Valentine with his stylish lion haircut.|
|Here it is as we found it at the thrift store.|
Before we could add the hammocks and paint the shelf, we needed to make a few adaptations to the original shelf. I had just had shoulder surgery on my right (dominant) arm, so we needed to call grandpa Tom for some help.
He helped us to cut some cat sized holes in the sides, on one of the front doors, and one on the top. We removed the narrow door to open up the small side nooks, and he helped us add two posts to the center of the large opening.
|After we cut some holes, removed a door, and added two posts.|
He used a hand jigjaw to cut the circles (it's exactly coffee can sized if you notice). He added a few screws to stabilize one of pieces that stops the large doors from pushing in, and he helped us to add the posts to support the hammocks. Luckily, grandma Sandy was there to help us carry the shelf back to our van, since I was out for the count.
|The Carry-Van, because they carried it to the van...|
We found an article online written by Oakland Animal Services that showed the hammocks they use in their shelter, we modeled ours after theirs. I found some small carabiner clips on ebay for 90 pc for $23.00, and had the fabric on hand. The eyehooks we bought at the hardware store when we bought the paint.
|The hammock test.|
Once the hammock test was complete, we started to paint. We sanded it lightly since it was a finished wood veneer, and then we applied a spray on primer coat.
|Yes, I let my kids use spray paint with supervision. They are really quite capable!|
After the white coat dried, we rolled and brushed on the base color. The girls chose light green. We masked off the area we intended to put carpet for climbing so the carpet glue had a better chance of sticking.
|Be prepared to say good-bye to whatever clothes your kids paint in...|
Once the green coat dried, we penciled in the drawings and started to paint the cute designs. My girls are great little artists so the cat drawings are theirs.
|Working on the details.|
|The finished art with the paper mask removed.|
We cut small pieces of carpet to go inside each of the animal cubbies, but left these so they could be removed in case they got dirty. We had an old neglected pet bed that fit perfectly inside the large cabinet space at the bottom, so we donated that with the Cat Hotel.
When we brought our cat hotel to the shelter, it was an instant hit! The cats were so curious (perhaps because the remnant was our old living room rug that smelled like toddlers and cats). They tried every cubby and Mustard immediately got cozy in one of the hammocks. The girls were absolutely thrilled! If you would like to go see our Cat Hotel in action, it currently resides at 9 Lives Boutique and Thrift which is a fundraising thrift store for Furry Friends Refuge.
|Pumpkin, Poinsettia, Beatrice, Mustard and Sylvia take a moment to pose with the Cat Hotel.|
|Mustard had dibs on this hammock. Just so you know.|
|Mustard, Butterscotch, and Pumpkin give the Cat Hotel a good sniffing.|