Tree Dweller...Bush Dweller?
Have you ever noticed your cats have an affinity for a certain elevation? Ours certainly do!
|George of the Jungle?|
Tonkinese are known to be athletic acrobats, and Faraday fits that description to a "T".
He's also the most vocal (man does that cat have lungs!) and he craves attention.
So when he tackles flights of derring-do, like tightrope walking along the top of the shower door, he announces it... loud and long!
Allie is a middle of the ground chick. That is, unless she's being chased up a tree by three huskies (dogs who were off leash and terribly against city ordinance!). Poor girl shredded her mani/pedi that day. It's also another reason she never goes out if we're not within 3 feet of her.
But on an average day, she loves hanging around with us in the garden, either at street level or up at eye level with us while we're out in the yard, sitting on the railing of the deck.
I did mention 'eye-level' earlier. She loves riding around on Marty's shoulder, taking in the sights, as you can see in the picture to the left. (Does that make her a shoulder-dweller? As you can see, she was none too happy that I interrupted her Bird TV for a photo op....!)
Maxwell's a wanna-be tree dweller, but with his deafness, he's off balance and awkward. He does make it to the top of the refrigerator, but not without careful measurement. He can usually be found lazing around under the kitchen table or on the foot of our bed.
Or banging around in the kitchen cabinets. Yeah, he figured that trick out in a hurry - just take a look at the video below.
Makes for some interesting noises at 3 AM - and completely redefines the whole concept of "things that go bump in the night"!
Jackson Galaxy (of Animal Planet's "My Cat From Hell" TV fame) labels these cats Tree Dwellers and Bush Dwellers. Not sure what he'd call Allie - or maybe she's the Bush Dweller and Maxwell would be the Ground Pounder?
What impact could this have on the cats in your home? It can possibly mean the difference between peace and World War III if you have cats who don't get along. What I mean is, if one cat is picking on another and the beleaguered cat has vertical spaces he or she can escape to, those vertical escape routes could help disarm a cat fight.
The first one came built-in. Our upstairs is divided into two living spaces. In between those spaces is a two-story-tall open area. A hallway with railings connects one living space to the other.
At about the same level of the hallway is a 6-inch wide wooden moulding that frames the kitchen eating area below - perfect for kitties to traverse. For years, I blocked it off.
You see, not long after we moved in, Ryker sauntered out to grab a sun puddle, fell asleep, then promptly fell off. He landed 8 feet down, on the hardwood floor below. He broke his elbow and got a busted lip!
The second superhighway was semi-built in ... as are most walk-in closets. We just added a series of shelves off to the side for easy access. Superhighway #2 is Allie's preferred escape route when Faraday gets a bit too obnoxious.
Superhighway #3 was created from scratch using shelves purchased at the local home improvement store. Be sure to add a non-skid surface to your shelves for better traction.
Superhighway #3 is in a guest bedroom. I have to admit, this one only seems to get used when we happen to be in there.
We learned a lesson with this one. Cats don't enjoy the same reputation with the general public as 'social animals' that dogs have, but many certainly are!
No matter where Marty or I go in the house, we can usually count on all three cats showing up within a short time. (Unless one or more is napping - then all bets are off!)
So we'll install our next superhighway in a location where we spend more of our time.
Do you have any kitty superhighways in your home?
Are you cats tree dwellers, bush dwellers or somewhere in between?
Do you feel those differences enhance their ability to live harmoniously in the home?