Monday, December 5, 2011

Shelf Augmentations: In Which I Blame The Cat For My Lack Of Updates


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I'd like you to meet my cat, his name is Odin. He's six years old, weighs sixteen pounds, is short an eye, and he still thinks he's a kitten. He likes to climb all over things, and squeeze into things that are clearly too small for him. He thinks he's hiding when he flattens down behind a shoe.

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Case in point, observe this hole in the boxes under one of my tables, it doesn't go anywhere, there's no secret paths to little kitty playgrounds, but...

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There you have it, for years, he's managed to be someone discreet about climbing on my shelves full of toys.

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But lately, he's been climbing up there, and he goes from the lowest shelf, up to the highest, there are actually supposed to be more boxes on that second shelf, but he climbed up behind them and his big butt knocked them down.

Obviously this is not ideal, since it forced me to take down a number of toys that I had on that lowest shelf, and place them on a desk that I normally keep clear to take pictures one:

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It's a little overfull at the moment.

My solution, although I'm sure he'll figure out a way around it, was to build a plexiglass wall around the lower most shelf. I hope that it being transparent will discourage him from trying to get on it, since he lacks depth perception. If he does try, and is successful, I hope that it will at least prevent anything else from falling all the way down and breaking.

I initially went to Home Depot and bought a 4 foot by 2 foot sheet of acrylic, thinking I would be able to just cut it on a table saw. Alas, people that I thought had table saws, turned out not to, and my friend's well meaning wife, went to Lowes to ask them how to handle it. They suggested using a knife to score it, and then just breaking it. We made a few attempts at that, which ended in disaster, I don't know if we were just lacking the proper tools, or if it was a lack of technique, but suffice to say that we ruined a perfectly good sheet of acrylic.

After that, she suggested that I check out a local outfit called Tapp Plastics, they were exactly what I should have done in the first place, they cut my pieces to order, while I waited, and the overall cost was less than the sheet that I'd bought from Home Depot.

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This is just the front piece that I started with, I thought it turned out pretty well, I decided to go with a wall that was about 6 inches high.
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The only snag I ran into was that I didn't measure the shelf very precisely before hand, so the front was a little longer, and the sides were a lot longer than they needed to be.

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It turned out pretty well, but I did crack the piece closest to the far wall by tightening it down too much.
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Here Odin is, studiously ignoring my handy work.

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And here I've started to repopulate the shelf a little bit.

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He finally acknowledged the existence of the shelf, and I like to think that he's a little sad in this picture.

Okay guys! More reviews coming up, I've got something I'm really excited to share with everyone.

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