Here’s a book that bears a look, and even a purchase if you happen to be one of those inscrutable do-it-yourselfers. As for me, building a House of Catitude in all but a virtual sense is well beyond my crafting capacity, but I say, “power (tools) to you” if you find yourself creating, for example, an attractive Zen Cat Bed.
(Unfortunately, my cats Brody and Herman would tear the bejesus out of this framed-sisal station, its contemplative stone garden and living wheat grasses — first assassinating the greens and then spreading soil and sisal to my living room’s four winds.)
But just because Herman and Brody would destroy the Zen Cat Bed in no time doesn’t preclude some other cats from getting their zen on, doing the cat lotus posture there and such. Probably, the Zen Cat Bed just needs minor tweaking to be a place to chill and not where to lose one’s cat mind in such a destructive fashion.
But believe me, the last thing I want is to sound overly critical of this delightful book of projects. There truly are some attractive ideas in Pads for Pets: Fabulous Projects for your Furry, Feathered, and ‘Phibious Friends (Chronicle Books, 2003), from simple stuff to the architecturally complex. Although I must point out, clearly the emphasis in this field has been on dogs and doghouses, and you can guess how we feel about that here at Self Help for Cats. (Hint – we aren’t purring.)
As the dog section is by far the most developed in the book, the dyed in the wool cat DIYer may need to borrow from the canine or goldfish sections to really find a project they can sink their glue gun into. For example, I would actually even consider making my cats an Orphan Sock Bed – sort of a rag rug made of stuffed single socks, presumably the match of lost socks.
Wouldn’t it feel great to finally rid oneself of the uselessness of those odd single socks for such a cool sock bed?! That is, until one of the matching socks turned up. I’d have to make a whole other sock bed then, just to set things straight. It could get ugly actually, and even snowball what with the likelihood of further bed-sock matches later developing. So you understand why it’s better if I never got started down that path, right?
Even if I happen to be a complete crafting catastrophe, that certainly doesn’t mean Pads for Pets doesn’t have some ideas you’ll really dig. There’s a whole section about throwing a dog party, what with hats, a cake, party games, etc., and I don’t see why you can’t adopt that right over to cats, you know? Why not, I ask? Why the heck not?
(I’ll tell you why not, because probably a room full of cats made angry by their elasticized party hats with pieces of cake spread all about on plates – well, that just doesn’t sound like a good situation.)
Clearly, the creative nutkins behind this utterly original book have their hearts totally in the right place, in their left ribcage that is, and beating strong for a good cause. Book sales help PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support), an organization all about animals helping people in their time of need. And what’s the point of helping yourself if you can’t, in the end, turn around and help someone else? Remember that, kitties!
Pads for Pets is by Elizabeth Quinn with Pets Are Wonderful Support (P.A.W.S.). Photographs by Frankie Frankeny.