Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Catio Man

I knew it!

I knew that my husband would enjoy the recent New York Times article about people who build “catios” for their cats, and I suppose I can’t blame him for weighing the options. Don’t get alarmed: We are only remotely considering the possibilities of expanding our feline kingdom outdoors by means of protected enclosures.

We do not live like New Yorkers in cramped spaces, although I paid my dues in the 1980s when I lived in a 325-square-foot apartment on the Upper East Side that was distinguished by an infestation of cockroaches each summer. We live in Texas, the super-sized state, and our old, rambling house in Houston is plenty big for “the eight of us” to feel comfortable inside, and in our own skins. We do not bump into each other during the night. The cats in our garage apartment lead me to believe that they feel the same way.

My husband, the newly christened Catio Man, could design a catio to be built on either side of our Arts and Crafts house, or to extend from the deck in our backyard. How many additional cats could he and I rescue to live in these custom-designed quarters? I am guessing that we could adopt another six cats, easily.

Through my work at the museum, I have had the privilege of meeting a number of top-tier architects. I wonder if I could interest one of them in designing a Frank Lloyd Wright-style catio to match the lines of our 1913 structure. Or a midcentury modern vibe would work to complement the artwork and furnishings of our “Mod Pod,” which used to be the den.

No matter the architectural style, permanent shelter for cats is all that counts for Catio Man. And even though this Cat Lady wrote many papers in college on Mies van der Rohe and his philosophy of “Less Is More,” I say bring them on, meaning more felines, of course. Let’s all live together in our feline compound, which might just include a catio or two.

Architectural Digest, here we come!

Query of the Day:
Do you already have a catio at home?

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