Lockdown has left us with a lot more time on our hands and many people have been using the extra hours to improve their home set-ups.
One couple from North Carolina have taken things one step further and built an outdoor play space for their cats.
Holli Tracy Bennett and her husband Roger spent a whole weekend crafting a luxury play space for their kitties, so the animals could safely play outdoors.
The pair have three rescue cats – Cheeto, 14 months, Nacho, 12 months, and Queso, 10 months .
Roger began building the 12-foot enclosure by kicking four concrete posts in the ground, then adding wooden posts and chicken wire. Following that, they put in plastic sheeting for the roof, so the moggies could hear the natural elements.
Holli then took over the decorating side of things, sourcing most of the furniture from her house or revamping things at her local workshop.
The finished product – which cost £160 in total – has plenty of home comforts including fairy lights, real grass, ferns, perches and ladders (to keep the cats entertained), as well as a hammock for Holli to spend time with the cats.
The couple even went as far as to pay homage to the cult Netflix docu-series Tiger King, with a sign reading ‘Lil Cat Reserve’ – with the picture and font from Carole Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue logo.
Holli said: ‘I wanted it to be jungle-like and I wanted them to feel that they were really outside.
‘I put the hammock in there because I want to read with them there and I want to meditate with them there, too.
‘I’m now thinking of building another “catio” and putting in a tunnel to connect the two.’
Holli – who owns her own DIY company – had always planned to build an outdoor space since she started keeping cats, two years ago.
She wanted a place for her cats to play freely – as it’s unsafe for them to roam the streets near her house. Lockdown was therefore the perfect opportunity to get started on her ‘catio’.
Holli said: ‘I finally decided to build one in lockdown, because I had the time and because of the warm weather.
‘We have a pool which we’ve been spending lots of time in and the cats would be at the backdoor, looking out longingly – I felt so guilty that they couldn’t enjoy what we could.
‘The cats are obsessed with their new catio: they love it. They never come in now.
‘They’re always outside and I have to bring them through into the house at night. It’s kind of a little playground for them.’
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