Aby-a-Day – May 25: Home sweet new house

Jacoby’s black SturdiShelter, usually referred to as his “house,” was originally purchased used for Gun-Hee back in 2007. It was originally meant to be used only for cat shows, but it quickly became a combination clubhouse/time out tent for Gun-Hee and we kept it set up all the time.

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Gun-Hee considered the tent his personal lair. He would steal things – like packages of hot dogs – and carry them back to his den for safekeeping.

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Shortly after Jake’s escalator accident, the tent was reinstated and quickly became Jake’s dining room. Given that Jake’s been using that tent every night for three years, it’s been getting a bit worn. And his ability to push the zippers open with his head hasn’t helped the tent’s longevity.

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We started latching the zippers closed so he couldn’t get out, but that didn’t stop him from trying. And in trying, he’s started to wear through the mesh next to the zipper.

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I patched the worst hole, but there are at least two more holes starting. Unless I can come up with a way to really fix the mesh and not just patch it, his tent needs to be replaced.

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Of course, Jake does have the leopard-print tent that he got for his birthday last year, but I kind of want to keep that one in good shape for cat shows, and the leopard print is a little busy for our living room. It was starting to look like I’d need to buy him a new tent, but they’re a little expensive. I’d gotten very lucky – and found some awesome deals – finding the two tents we have on eBay six years apart. I wasn’t sure I could get that lucky a third time.

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But I did. At the Seacoast cat show in Concord earlier this month, a navy Sturdi single show shelter was one of the items in the silent auction. I saw a chance to get a new tent for a lot less than full price.

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And I actually managed to win it!

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I also saw an advantage to setting up a single rather than a double. When Jake eats in his house, he really only uses one side. He eats on the floor and then hangs out on the hammock until we let him out.

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So the new tent takes up less floor space and serves the same purpose, but Jake doesn’t feel any less comfortable in there.

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There’s another advantage to the single: it has a side door, and the side door is set in only canvas, not mesh. I set the new tent up with the main mesh door facing the wall and only let Jake in and out though that side door. So far, it’s been working really well. He hasn’t tried to push the zipper open yet.

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But does Jake like his new fort?

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Oh, yeah. I’d say he’s definitely already quite fond of it.