I am an avid cat lover and mom to four wonderful cats who are probably a bit more spoiled than most. This year for Christmas (or Catmas) I convinced my fiancé that our cats needed a new, upgraded, bigger, better cat tree and – because my fiancé is a saint – he agreed that we could purchase a new, eight-foot cat tree for our girls. When I saw the cat tree online it looked incredible and I ordered it without hesitation and when it arrived in the mail a few weeks later I was excited to build it. It was only when we were about halfway into building our new cat tree that I started to question the height of our ceilings and thought that perhaps I should have thought this through a bit more.
Regardless of my concerns, my fiancé and I continued to build this mammoth cat tree. Because we’re both wheelchair users, but only I use an Edge 3 with iLevel®, I deemed myself the foreman of the project and my fiancé was my helping hand. The base and bottom layer were pretty easy for us to put together as a team, and even the second layer – which reaches about three and a half feet – was manageable for both of us. However, by the time we got to the third layer of the cat tree, I had to start elevating to be able to reach to place the layer and screw it in. At this point my fiancé was in charge of finding the right pieces and handing them to me as I continued to elevate higher and higher, adding more and more layers to this extravagant tree.
By the time we got to the fifth or sixth layer, we were laughing so hard at my ridiculous purchase. We could not believe that it never occurred to me to measure how tall our ceilings were to see if this tree would fit and we began crossing our fingers, hoping it would all work out in the end. We were also amused that we – two wheelchair users – decided to build what seemed like the world’s biggest cat tree. We jokingly dubbed my wheelchair as our MVP of the construction site, because without having iLevel® we would have never been able to reach high enough to finish our masterpiece.
When we finished construction, we found that the cat tree just barely fits and there is about six inches between the highest perch and our ceiling. In fact, when the cats jump to the highest perch, they can touch our ceiling and they love it! I think they feel mighty powerful up there! You can see exactly how tall the tree is and see the final moments of construction in this video.
In the end, the cats loved their new Catmas present and they have spent hours lounging on the highest branches – far away from our dogs. I’m not sure we’ll be building another cat tree any time soon, but it’s nice to know that I’ll be able to reach if I need to!
About Stephanie Woodward: Stephanie is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab® and works as a disability rights activist. She has received many awards for helping communities become more accessible, as well as for her actions in fighting for the rights of disabled individuals as it relates to Medicaid and other support services. Click here to learn more about Stephanie.