Now that Memorial day has come and gone it’s officially summer, even though the calendar says it’s still a few weeks away. My love for the season may have something to do with the fact that I am a late summer baby, or it could just be that the season is about getting out, getting moving and getting things done.
Summer is cookouts, concerts, gardening, open windows, cool breezes (or hot), walking the doggo in the park, hikes, bike rides, long days, and my favorite: streets lined with the American flag. The only other thing that can top this list of awesomeness is finally having the energy to get things done.
There is a good reason I’ve been MIA from my writing, and it has everything to do with my obsession to figure out a way to allow my cats safely outside. I started small and got them used to wear a harness and leash. Even though we didn’t go walking it was a way for me to let them on my patio without them running away.
I soon realized, as per the expression on their faces, that the harness was too cumbersome and restricting, plus I was always on high alert making sure they weren’t getting too far into the grass or eating something that would make them sick. I knew there had to be a better way, so I set my fingers to Google and found the wonders of the catio. For you lay-cat-people that is a patio (enclosure) for cats.
I found a lot of websites for catio type structures and catio kits, but nothing that seemed to fit my space and nothing in my price range. I knew what I wanted, but being artistically challenged did not know how to put what was in my head onto paper. Luckily, I have an artistically gifted brother (I mean he got ALL the talent), and after giving him the measurements, he was kind enough to send me a drawing of my catio so I could hire someone to build it for me.
There was only one problem, no handyman or contractor company wanted to take on this small project. I was so desperate that I caved and called an ex guy-friend of mine that’s in construction (and consequently likes cats) so I figured he would be able to help me out, because he said he would. About 10 minutes after hanging up I remembered why God sent him away (Hint: Super unreliable).
Which brings me to my point, sometimes when God says no, it is because He has something better in store. My catio project germinated in April, and I searched for help for two months. Help with drawing the catio to building it. I called everyone I knew and didn’t know for help to no avail. Even though I was getting the cold shoulder from, what seemed like the world, I wasn’t about to give up. That’s when I decided to try a different approach.
Since my patio has privacy fences on either side, all I needed to do was seal up the front of the patio and any “holes,” I think my cats could fit through. After a little ingenuity, I was able to enclose the front of my patio with six foot tall bamboo reeds by attaching them to my existing, decorative no-dig fence via zip ties. I cannot tell you how amazing this turned out! The best part is the fence can be removed within a matter of minutes.
To make it even more cat approved I planted non-toxic plants to give my kitties something to chew on, and boy does Blue like his asparagus fern!
Not only is this a safe place for my cats to enjoy the fresh air, watch the birds do fly-by’s and stalk the chipmunks that mock them, but it is a retreat for myself (if it ever stops raining) to take in the summer evenings. In essence, I transformed my patio into a giant catio, and I did it for way less money than I was initially planning to spend.
The moral here is patience. The old impatient me would have purchased a catio kit in April, only to have missed out on the awesomeness that is now my patio that doubles as a catio.
If there is something that seems to be taking its sweet time manifesting in your life, do not lose heart. There is a bigger and better purpose that God has in store for you. You just have to have the patience to let Him show you the way!