Sunday, 5 August 2018
Aska, the newest kitten, is ~8 weeks old now. She is not longer a scrawny, skinny, ribs-sticking-out kinda kitty. She has filled out and has a bit of a pudgy kitten belly, which is how she should be. Yay! She eats really well and it now shows.
I decided, since she is now a healthy normal kitten, and is really active and playing like mad, that it was time to expand her tiny universe and let her have access to more of the house.
Now, my house has a basement but there is no way to close it off from a tiny 2 lb kitten. There is no door to the basement, only full access to the stairs, and there is the danger of climbing through the wrought iron railing from the kitchen that open over the stairs, and plummeting down into the depths to (more than likely) get broken on the stairs... or worse! Plus there are things and spaces in the basement that a pipsqueak of a kitten could get stuck in, or hurt by, or somehow difficult for me to rescue. So I had to devise a barrier.
I have a wooden pet gate at the edge of the kitchen where the stairs start that is an accordion style gate and it works well to keep dogs from the basement. Where the cats' litter box resides. My sister brings her dog over, and when I had Teak, it worked like a charm to keep dog snoots out of the box, chowing down as they are wont to do. *ew* It has many openings in it that a kitten fits through so that won't do.
So I used one of the old doors that I had pulled out when I demo'd the basement. I cut it down to 40" high, and put a 8" wide board along the top for the big cats to use as a landing pad when they jump up. I cut the corners off the board to allow for unimpeded opening and closing (otherwise it would be going nowhere!).
My house was built in the mid 50s and the door trim is curved, so I had to bend and hammer the hinges to follow that curve. Not a difficult task. Clamped one side of each hinge to the workbench in the basement, used a piece of door trim as the mold, and hammered the desired curve into the other side of the hinge. Worked perfectly!
So I have the big litter box upstairs for now, as Lila thinks she is too fat to jump up on the gate and I want Aska to start getting used to it. She was pretty skittery at first when she started exploring the living room, but was running around playing in no time! Right now, she is back on the cat tree in the front room, having a much needed nap.