Deck The Halls

If you’ve decorated for the holiday season, I hope everything is still intact! I try to keep our decorations to a minimum. It’s really just an excuse to put out more animal “stuff.” I hope you enjoy the Christmas items I’ve collected over the years.

Part of me is glad the cats don’t play with this because of the noisy bells đŸ˜‰

Here’s our pet stockings and photo ornaments.


Here’s the top of the bookcase with ornaments and a photo of Zinger with Santa. The wood carvings are from the Dog Bark Park Inn.


Our cute “cookie” jar made by Scentsy


My attempt at a photo Christmas Wreath


Petsmart Christmas Cat


Two days after putting up decorations, I found a stocking on the ground…


…Looks like a house cat is sending a message to the Barn Cats!


Sweet Satisfaction

After all the time and energy I put into creating the cat shelves (along with my awesome husband’s help), I still get excited when I see a cat using them.

Borgia enjoying the hammock

I’d nap up there if I was a cat

Dog Ramp 3.0

We redesigned the ramp support to be sturdier and to be lower than the door threshold, replaced the OSB with 3/4″ plywood, and added caps to the posts. I then painted the guard rails and plywood to match the house trim.


We used a paint additive made from finely ground walnut shells to create traction for dogs and humans.

Dog Ramp Version 2.0

Our awesome dog ramp (inspired by the arrival of new foster dog on Saturday) wasn’t complete when you last saw it. The two major issues were: 1) No railings; we had to guide Watson up and down the ramp so he didn’t step off the sides, and 2) The ramp wasn’t secured to anything, so it was able to slide a bit when we hoomans walked out the back door. These issues have been resolved and EVERYONE is pleased with the finished product!

Railings prevent animals from falling off ramp or trying to jump up and off the sides.

The ramp isn’t going to move with two 65 pound pier blocks, and our good friend Mr. Gravity, weighing it down. At some point the ramp will get painted and the OSB will get replaced with nicer, sturdier wood. I’m more than happy with how this project turned out. Watson hasn’t limped once since he started using the ramp!

The heavy pier blocks (one on each side of ramp) are attached to the ramp and are heavy enough to prevent the ramp from sliding.

This project is very dear to me, and I even cried when it was finished. This ramp is what I had imagined building for our boy Rusty who was starting to have some mobility issues. I brought up the idea to my husband when we went out for breakfast.  When we got home I discovered the massive growth on his head (two weeks later we ended his suffering). Click HERE for Rusty’s story.

I hope this ramp will inspire others to evaluate their dog’s mobility. Do what you can to make your dog more comfortable and get around easier. Something as simple as a ramp can do wonders for an old dog’s quality of life!


Catering To The Kittehs

We have a situation in our house due to “special needs” animals. We have to put a baby gate in our bedroom doorway to keep the dogs out. Doing this helps with potty training our foster dogs.

Unfortunately this keeps out our cat Tully. Cats are built to jump, but somehow he never got the memo because he doesn’t like to jump. Tonight my husband decided to help our boy out by making a ramp that goes over the baby gate. Tully is now able to walk up the ramp and go spend countless hours on our bed sleeping. Hopefully our senior girl Borgia will take advantage of the ramp as she will likely develop arthritis.

Ramp still needs to be painted

From the husband: while I shake my head at a cat who doesn’t like to jump (he jumps on the bed to sleep all day, so what’s up Tully?), I built the ramps because the animals are our family. This task made me think of my boy Rusty, who loved sleeping in my spot on the bed but needed help getting on the bed in the last year of his life. I built him a table that was at the foot of our bed so he could use it as a step. He took to it immediately, and it warmed my heart to see him sleeping in my bed spot as he had done for years. It was his safe place, and the last place he laid. I miss you Rusty; please tell Tully he can jump.


Home Made Cat Shelves

The cat shelves and raceways that I purchased last year are being put to good use. Tully (former barn cat) spends 1/3 of his day on the raceways. This includes running like a crazy cat between 12am-5am. Considering the shelves are on the opposite side of a shared wall with our bedroom, I thought I should put shelves on the opposite side of the house.  There was always the risk of the shelves not being used as I had hoped, but I had to try something (playing before bedtime wasn’t cutting down on the speed kitteh).

I would have LOVED to purchase more shelves from Catastrophicreations. Unfortunately, the business owner moved out of state which meant $$$ on shipping that previously could have been put towards shelves. This meant I was going to build them myself!

My awesome husband headed to Lowes for supplies so I could get to work in the garage. When coming up with a design, I did the same as with the purchased shelves. I cut strips of paper to represent each shelf and used painters tape to map the studs on the walls.  Most of the time the shelves would anchor into a stud, but a few required drywall anchors.

I put a lot of time & energy into this project, and without my husband’s help the results wouldn’t be this good (or sturdy).

I took some pics at many stages in the project to give you an idea of all that went into the final result. Enjoy!

Here’s the paper shelves and blue painters tape. Some of the tape represents studs that I located using a stud finder, others mark where the brackets should be mounted (others used instead of clear scotch tape).


This was my temporary work station at our kitchen island. I painted the brackets to match the wall paint and shelf paint to help them blend in to their surroundings. The blow dryer is there to make the paint drying go MUCH faster.

Once again, the blow dryer to the rescue! These blocks of wood were used behind the scratching/climbing post so the post wasn’t flat against the wall.

The scratching/climbing post was made of 2 2×4’s. I sanded and painted the ends.

I used sisal rope that other cat owners recommended (no chemical smell). It took over 300 feet of rope!

Here’s the fabric I used for the raceway to go between the two windows. FYI I hate sewing, but that’s WHAT I DO FOR CATS & DOGS.

Yep. If you can’t draw a straight line, you likely can’t sew a straight line either;)

Here’s the raceway mounted and the fabric stapled, glued and screwed! The clamps helped maintain pressure on the wood and fabric while the glue dried. Cats were kept off until the glue was finished drying. Before allowing the cats on the shelves, I did paint touch-ups, including painting screw heads so they blended into the wall & brackets.


Success! Tully using the shelves. We’ll see if he uses them between 12am-5am…