Wednesday, April 11, 2018

K is for Kitty Hammock

When my daughter was in kindergarten, she had an assignment in her gifted class to identify a problem and create an invention to solve the problem. Her problem was our then-young cat Fletcher would play with her feet when she was in bed trying to go to sleep, so she invented a Kitty Fun Bed for him. She used a box and made a canopy over the top and hung toys inside, and he did actually use it for awhile.

Currently, I am watching Nora and Pete sleep on my bed. They are taking up my entire side of the bed, and when I go to bed myself, they will begrudgingly move SLIGHTLY to let me in, but the reality is that my husband will take up his side of the bed and infringe somewhat on mine, the two cats will be on my side of the bed, and I will be squeezed into a pretzel shape, filling in the little spaces between them all. (Pete did used to sleep in a cat bed we had, but he got so fat that he broke it - yes, BROKE it - stretching the foam inside until it cracked apart.) 

Maybe Pete and Nora (and my husband, if he doesn't GET THE HELL ON HIS OWN SIDE OF THE DAMN BED) would like their very own bunk bed! Problem? Solution!

Instead of trying to hunt down a box big enough to accommodate Pete's 20 pounds (yeah, you think THAT'S big; he's lost 7 pounds since fall), I bought a box at Walmart in the office supplies section. It was about $1.50 and totally worth it. I also needed a piece of fleece slightly larger than the box for the hammock. Here's something you should know if you're ever in the market for a piece of fleece and you don't much care what it looks like: Walmart sells 60" wide fleece by the yard for $4.00 a yard. They sell fleece blankets that measure 50" x 60" for $2.50. You do the math. 

I taped the box together as securely and as plumb as I could get it, then measured and marked the four sides to make the corner posts. I used a utility knife to cut the middle sections out of the box and had a flashback to high school and Joey Birchard using one to cut cardboard during set construction for a school play and plunging the blade into his arm (holla if you were there). I cut without mishap and only missed the line I was following in a couple of places, but I was able to (mostly) fix THAT with this gizmo my dad got me (good for trimming cardboard AND scalping dolls).


I don't know what this thing is called,
but you should get one. It comes with
all kinds of different blades and stuff.

It honestly took me longer to cut the piece of fleece than it did the cardboard box, mostly because I was too lazy to carry the fleece upstairs out of the basement where I could lay it out neatly and use a yardstick for a guide. I also got a lot of unsolicited help with the fleece from Nora.

Can't imagine why I had trouble
measuring the fleece. Hmmm.

Pete had to come down and investigate.
He's too lazy to get involved and
too fat to jump up on the workbench.

Next, I measured for the holes where the hammock would be attached and made the holes with a drill. For the record, I have had that drill, a Skil, since shortly after I graduated from college. My dad gave it to me, along with a huge set of drill bits that he couldn't sell at his hardware and farm supply store because someone had nicked a couple of them. My husband may actually have married me for that drill.

Never underestimate a girl with a drill.

The hammock was made with a piece of the fleece cut four inches larger than the box bottom. A slit was cut into each corner of the fleece, and each side of a slit was poked through a hole in a corner post and tied with a knot.

It was a tasty knot...

I put the extra fleece in the bottom of the box for bed #2 and carried it upstairs for the big reveal.

Pete laid on the bed and ignored me and the new Kitty Fun Bed, but Nora, who had been heavily involved with the construction, came right over to check it out, because SHE HAD NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE. After she gave it a look-see (and it looked JUST LIKE IT DID when she was messing with it in the basement less than five minutes earlier), I picked her up and pushed her into the hammock.

She jumped out like it was burning lava.

I put her back in, she jumped back out.

She moves fast.

Then I tried to put her back in, but she kept ending up in the BOTTOM bunk, as if there were a hole in the hammock, but as I was struggling with her and trying to hold onto my phone to get a picture (and my husband sat in his chair and watched and did NOTHING to help me), I realized she was tucking her head and curling up like a roly poly bug just as I would try to push her onto the bunk. Tuck and roll, personified (or catified, as it were).

Then, miracle of miracles, I shoved her in there one last time AND SHE STAYED. 

Isn't she the cutest?

Pinterest win here, even if she never gets in it again!


  1. I couldn't resist popping over when I saw "kitty hammock" Loved your idea and how well you executed it. Our two cats have their own beds in the laundry - I never let them sleep with us (I'm really bad at being a pretzel!) I'm off to read a few of your other AtoZ posts and it was lovely reading this one x

    Leanne |
    K for Keep Trying

    1. Thank you! I was pretty proud of my execution! Oh, my cats sleep better than I do! They definitely have more room!

  2. It came out cute! I'm surprised you had to do so much coaxing with Nora since she had supervised you so closely during the construction. It looks cozy. I bet she'll come to love it. If Pete uses it, he might want to stick to the bottom bunk. Weekends In Maine

    1. You would think Nora would have been all over it, wouldn't you? I have hopes she will start sleeping in it. I did put Pete in the hammock for the brief moment that he lasted and it sagged almost to the bottom of the box!

  3. poor chubby Pete!!! Cool construction project! That Nora's a cutie! zoe

    1. I caught Pete lying in the bottom bunk the other day, so the project is still a win!

  4. I have exacto-knifed my thigh... I'm not sure this is the craft for me.
    But I'm enjoying the heck out of this armchair craftsperson thang you have going on here...

    1. Well, thank you! I would not have been as cautious with the knife had I not witnessed the Joey incident in high school

  5. So darn cute, especially with Nora finally inside! Has she gone back in it? I love cat curiosity, move it and it's new again! I have started putting assorted beds and toys away for a week or two when they seem bored and aren't using them, when it bring them out it's brand new. :-) I have some k-cup coffee boxes that my cats fell in love with for some weird reason, I put new furry blanket liners in them regularly (too lazy to remove all that loose fur from old ones, and yes I get those Walmart cheapies.. soft and perfect). We also have a window cat hammock that hangs with suction cups and my cats all love it. I was amazed that it even holds the "heavy duty" cats with no slip! LOL at your crowded sleeping arrangements. Have you considered hanging up a hammock for you so you have some personal space? :-))

    1. To my knowledge, she has NOT gone back onto the hammock, but I'm not giving up that she might some day. I've seen pictures of those window hammocks. Did you get yours online? I'm afraid the whole window will fall out of the wall if Pete gets on it! And you're right, maybe I'M the one that needs a hammock! :D

  6. My daughter has a tool collection, including rolling tool chests, that would rival most men's workshops, and she uses everything in them. It was one of the eye appeal selling tricks of her former house... "look, you can make this into a great workspace!"

    1. I've got a drill press. Don't know how to use it, but I have one!