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Cat Tower Plans by Pen-umbra
Cat Tower Plans
A few people have asked for more information on the cat tower, so I'm posting some of my designs and plans, plus a close up of the project. If you're thinking of making your own, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. I curved the front plywood in order to reduce wall space without reducing volume. If you have the space, I recommend leaving the front FLAT, especially if you're a beginner or even intermediate worker with construction. There's absolutely no reason you can't just design a simple box shape for this! Be creative! The size and shape are largely meant to benefit YOUR living space.

2. Using a right angle corner with a curved hypotenuse, my 10 lb cat fits through a 7" hole (measuring along one flat edge). My 17 lb cat needs a minimum of 8", but 9" to be comfortable. Use a cardboard box and start by cutting a 7" hole in a top corner and putting the box over your cat. If they can jump through the top pretty well, widen it another inch. Do that until the cat can jump through without touching the sides. The farther apart your floors are, the wider the hole needs to be.

3. The front "window" holes don't all need to line up. That's just what fit with my design. I'm currently working on one for my parents' cats, and it's much more organic with holes in different spots. Pick one to suit your own style.

4. Take into account what your cat likes to do normally. JoJo LOVES being up as high as she can, so I built this thing REALLY tall! Chewy likes a nice, dark, cozy spot to just sit in, so I built the bottom floor a little larger for him to feel comfortable. The result? JoJo plays on the top level all day and Chewy chills out at the bottom. The outside design is for you, but the inside is for them.

5. Support, support, support! You cannot be too careful adding support. Support along all the sides, extra weight on the bottom, and put support brackets under each level. Screw some carpeted levelers into the bottom if you have wood floors. Plastic levelers if you have carpeted floors.

6. I kept mine entirely enclosed, but I left one of the back panels as removable for easier cleaning.

7. Old carpet squares can be easily cut to fit the interior levels. I bought 5 squares at Habitat Restore for $15 (only used 4). I ran some extra strips of carpet along the walls between levels. It helps the cats get a good grip to climb between floors, but is also just a very excellent scratching post hidden away!

Feel free to ask me if you have any questions while making yours! It's a lot of trial-and-error, so have fun with it!
Cat Tower by Pen-umbra
Cat Tower
It's pretty different from my usual art projects, but I wanted a nice tall tower for my cats that fit my decor and didn't involve massive amounts of ugly carpet. So I designed one! It took a whole weekend to build it, another week to paint it, and it was definitely an engineering project. My cat JoJo (see her ears at the top) loves it and spends a lot of time running up and down the levels and hanging out in her maharajah tent. Chewy's a big cat who is a little scared to try the different levels, but did manage to get stuck Winnie-the-Pooh-style in the second window while trying to sniff out a left-over cat treat...

I finished this about a month ago when my cat JoJo was diagnosed with stage 2 kidney failure. She's only 8, so there's a big chance it will progress quickly, but we're hoping for a few more years of top-level games in her tower. It's been really fun to play with her and watch her enjoy the new "fort." Her favorite game right now is to try to catch anything I toss her while she's on the top level. Not to brag, but she's pretty awesome at it. ;)
Happy New Year! by Pen-umbra
Happy New Year!
I've had a lot of excellent new experiences this year, and have been surprised and delighted to see my art taking off to new heights. And at each step of the way, I've thought about the community here on DA. So many of 2014's successes have hinged on the advice and support of people I've met through DeviantArt. Some of them I've met in person, some that I've only emailed, and some that I only speak to through their kind comments on my page. I'm so very thankful for all of you!

I always celebrate the new year by going for a long walk. On January 1, 2014, I stepped out the front door to find a doe bedded down under a cherry tree. I accidentally scared her off and noticed her limping horribly. I felt terrible, thinking I might have made the injury worse. After a lot of deliberation, I walked further into the woods, thinking if it were a serious injury, she wouldn't have gotten far. A few minutes of pushing aside branches and I found the doe happily munching on a tree with 3 other deer. Her leg was back to normal. I suppose it's entirely possible her leg just fell asleep. It was a brutal winter, so we saw her return every day for the food we put out for them.

It's a strange story, but one I've thought about a lot throughout the year, and felt it was fitting to illustrate for the new year.
Old Faithful by Pen-umbra
Old Faithful
Another Christmas present to my parents as part of their National Park series. Yellowstone is their favorite park, and Old Faithful Inn is a place they talk about a lot, so I thought it was time to represent it in paper form!
The Storyteller: Frame 3 by Pen-umbra
The Storyteller: Frame 3
A close up of the left frame of The Storyteller. You can see the full piece in my gallery, and I will happily post a link as soon as I figure out how... :/

This frame shows the constellations of Hercules, Corona Borealis, Cygnus, Scorpio, part of Draco, Lyre, and Ophiuchus. There's also a bear in there that hints at a Milky Way origin story from the Shoshone tribe.

The stars are all made with paper and placed precisely where you would see them in the sky, and are sized according to their magnitudes. The warped lines you see on the bottom layer are the lines of latitude and longitude.

I must mention what a huge help :iconcloutierj: was in making this. Expert knowledge of papers, adhesives and techniques, and she was an absolute lifesaver. At one point in this process, the glue I'd been using reverted to paste in the high humidity of the summer, and my entire project slouched to the bottom of the frame. Jane got me on the right track with a strong, sturdy and flexible adhesive that will now be the only glue I ever use.
I'm hoping there may be some Italian viewers out there who know something about ArtExpo in Milan. It's during the Universal Expo next year and I've been invited to participate as an artist. I don't know much about it, or the area of the city it's in (Mecenate area in Milan), but if anyone on here has heard of it, I'd love to hear from you!

Here's a link to their site:

I hope you're all enjoying a lovely November--we're already getting snow here in Michigan!
  • Mood: Zest


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cloutierj Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2015
Hi!  Great to hear from you!  How is your summer going?  I keep checking your dA page, hoping for new paper works.  Did that commission work out okay?  How about your hot drinks series?  I've been busy in the garden, wondering how your mom's is doing.  Any trips to A2 in your future?  Thanks for the comments and the fave.  So glad to hear from you.
Pen-umbra Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2015  Professional Artist
Summer is going well! I'm trying my hand at gardening this year and it's been lovely! I dug up a million wild onions from the front yard and put in daisies, sunflowers, gladiolas, and lilies. The hot drinks series is going well, too. I'll be posting those images here soon, but you can check out what's finished over here:…

The commission is working out fine! I've finished the spring one (pictures coming soon), and the summer one is well underway.

Hope everything is going well for you! We'll have to meet up again soon!
Mairelyn Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

:iconcolorfulsparklesplz: :iconblue-hplz: :iconblue-aplz: :iconblue-pplz: :iconblue-pplz: :iconblue-yplz: 

:iconblue-bplz: :iconblue-iplz: :iconblue-rplz: :iconblue-tplz: :iconblue-hplz: :iconblue-dplz: :iconblue-aplz::iconblue-yplz: :iconcolorfulsparklesplz:

:iconsparklyplz: :iconsparklyplz: :iconsparklyplz: :iconsparklyplz: 


:iconpinkcakeplz: :iconcakecookieplz: :party: :cake: :iconcakepinkplz: 

:iconrainbowbummiecakeplz: :iconfloatingstarplz: 

:iconrainbowwaveplz1::iconrainbowwaveplz2::iconrainbowwaveplz3: :iconcheerplz: 

Hope you have a Wonderful Amazing Day Today!
Pen-umbra Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014  Professional Artist
Thank you very much! I especially love the spinning rainbow cake. :)
Fluenfvard Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2014
Happy Birthday!
Pen-umbra Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014  Professional Artist
Thank you! :aww:
bloedzuigerbloed Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy birthday!
Pen-umbra Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014  Professional Artist
Thank you! :aww:
OptimusFinest Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
good work!
Pen-umbra Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014  Professional Artist
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