Project completed January 2012

Many years ago we purchased an inexpensive living room set. Over the years, these couches suffered many indignities including various bodily fluids from cats and children, food stains, and the cats using the couches as scratching posts. Gradually we discarded these disgusting pieces of furniture as they developed the ability to resist attempts to clean them, not to mention our inability to undo the damage that cats and children can inflict. We did retain one last piece to use solely as a scratching post for the cats so that they would have an alternative to scratching the newer furniture.

Knowing that this last piece of "cat furniture" was reaching the limits at which molecular cohesion can bind couch atoms, I decided to expand upon my CAT-O-TRON design into something that could take the couch's place when we got rid of it. The prototype, which I built for my parent's cats, was to be hexagonal and sturdier than the garbage cat furniture that pet stores sell. The first step involved purchasing enough 4x4 posts to build at least two of these contraptions.

The biggest problem at first, besides keeping my ever-present assistant Anya away from spinning blades, was figuring a way to produce 30 degree angled cuts without the use of a band saw. I built a jig to do the job but finding that this method produced horrible results instead used a table saw to start the cut and then complete the cut with a hand saw.

The base of the MEGA is broad enough to resist tipping the structure, which cats have been found to be able to do if the center of gravity of the contraption is too high.

To connect all of the pieces, I fabricated steel joints and attached them to the posts with 4.5-inch bolts. The idea was to be able to completely disassemble the MEGA for easy transportation and reassembly.

The next step was the risers. Two each of 2-foot, 3-foot, and 4-foot lengths with one 5-foot center riser.

I fabricated all of the joints with 1/8 inch steel, which I suspect was overkill several times over but I didn't want to risk having any of the pieces break off and injure a cat.

With the risers in place, all of the horizontal connectors are installed.

Using my previous CAT-O-TRON design, I fabricated three beds that will be mounted to the structure.

I found some neutral carpet and attached it to the beds.

It took about 650 feet of 3/8 inch sisal twine to wrap the risers and horizontal connectors. Even so, there was still much that was still bare wood.

With all construction done, I disassembled everything to move to the Pioneer "Sun Room" where my parent's cats hold court.

Reassembly is completed and Victor approves the design, although I had not anticipated his cat ass being so huge so I may have to make some larger beds.

Purrl finds that top platform, from which she surveys her subjects.

I.C. found the middle-tier platform and made it her own.

Other Cat-o-Tron structures: