CatLynn – Our Cat Tree Dancer

My Lady told me she wanted an outdoor cat tree on our back deck. There is a wood wall that covers a sealed doorway. It would be the perfect place to put some sort of cat perch for our Furry Fellows George & Ulysses. She had the happy thought that I would make a Tree Dancer for cats as its structure. I was stalled on how to design and construct her proposed outdoor cat tree dancer. So I snapped at her suggestion we design one and commission a metal worker to build it. 

The wooden wall on the back deck that covers a sealed door.
Some variations on the Tree Dancer theme.
My view while designing the Cat Tree Dancer.

I had to take into account the wall our Cat Tree Dancer was going against. It had a light fixture to work around. So I drew up a scale drawing, superimposed it over a parallax-corrected photo of the wall, & made sure my work sketches would fit the space.

The final sketch with proposed shelves and the existing light accounted for.

I found Iron Man, a metal worker with a welding studio/shop on Laird Avenue not too far from where we live in Toronto. We came to an agreement and I supplied him with a full size print to lay out the Cat Tree Dancer. He had me come in part way through the job to be sure we were on the same page. He had to put a 2 foot extension on his work table to accommodate the project. He was doing just fine!

Iron Man’s contract and down payment, using my proposal print as the document.
Iron Man placing a ladder so I can get a better view of the Cat Tree Dancer’s progress.
Iron Man conferring in his studio.
CatLynn on the bench.

It was a cold delivery day when she was all powder coated and ready to go up.

CatLynn arrives.
The installation.
CatLynn is up 🙂 She has a real presence in her spot against the wall. Beautiful!

While Iron Man was doing his part, I went to my Firewood Solutions guy here in Toronto and bought some live edge wood scraps from him. I put some time into the wood to transform it from rough-cut scap into shelves.

Rough-cut live edge scrap ready for some TLC.
The first round of sanding.
Sanding and cutting in progress.

It took a while to bring the wood up to the finish I wanted. The saving grace was that we intended to make a whimsical outdoor cat structure, not fine furniture. So I could let the flaws stand.

Figuring out what shelves go where. This all changed of course when the actual installation happened & I had the reality to work with instead of a working drawing.
Ready to stain.
Finished staining the live edge wood shelves.

What some of the boards look like after being sanded and cut to final size.

Midway through installation of the shelves.
Mid install of shelves.

It was interesting, changing the shelf plan to match Iron Man’s finished creation. Shelves ended up being best installed upside down, or needing to be screwed to his flanges down from the top instead of up from the bottom of the wood.

The “owl house” on the upper right, and the hammock my Lady sewed from outdoor fabric installed on the left. Finished.

moi post install
Lady for scale.

My Lady for scale 🙂

Vines making CatLynn welcome.

CatLynn is making herself right at home on our back deck. The existing ivy is starting to embrace her. She definitely has a real presence. Isn’t she gorgeous?

The “funny” thing is that our cats seem more afraid of CatLynn than intrigued. So her purpose is more decorative than being a lovely piece of outdoor cat furniture. C’est la vie, as they say.

What my Lady & I like best is that CatLynn is like the offspring we never had together. Her inspiration & patronage coupled with my design & work (including guiding Iron Man’s commission through to installation) became our whimsical love child.

2 thoughts on “CatLynn – Our Cat Tree Dancer

  1. Absolutely…awesome…great work Mark…oh ..and Ironman nailed it!!!

    1. Thanks Dale. IronMan really enjoyed being part of the project. I think it was a nice change from the things he usually was asked to work on.

Comments are closed.