When we rigged up the shelf outside the sun room to be a cat shelter, there were a few things I identified as potential problems. The tarp is staple gunned in place, for example, and I could see those giving out easily.
What I never imagined happening, however, is what I found this morning.
In retrospect, it’s not really surprising. The sidewalk block at the end is tilted slightly, undermined by rainwater overflowing from the rain barrel for so many years. I can see where my mom tried to make up for the erosion by adding broken pieces of sidewalk block and bricks at its edge. When I put the shelf up on bricks, I’d thought I’d compensated for that adequately.
Clearly I hadn’t.
Still, it was the weight of snow on the tarp that pulled it down, and I really would have expected the staples to give out before the shelf came down!
I’m glad I thought to add those dresser drawers. If they had not been there to land on, any cat that was at the food bowls probably would have been injured badly. 😦
Hopefully, this will no longer be an issue. I took the bricks out, then put foam pieces under the front, so it is now tilting backwards. Adding something to keep the tarp from sagging too much in the middle might be worthwhile, too.
I am happy to say, however, that the cats are making good use of this shelter. Unfortunately, they seem to have no problem crapping in there, either, judging from what I found on a piece of insulation lining a shelf.
Speaking of insulation…
This morning, I could actually see light in the sun room through our bathroom window. It turned out a narrow horizontal sheet at the top of the split window had fallen, despite our efforts to wedge things in place. I’ve decided to leave it for now. A bit of natural light is nice, and during the day it might even provide a bit of passive solar heat. My daughter and I had even been talking about removing one of them for those exact reasons. The amount of window that is now uncovered shouldn’t make too much difference in temperature at night. We can always pop it back into place, if that does turn out to be an issue.
One of the bonuses of getting the broken tool dresser out of the sun room and managing to get the stuck drawers out is, I finally found our hatchet. Part of my morning routine now includes chopping ice out of the bird bath so I can add water to it. Which the cats are absolutely fascinated by. Having the heated water bowl in the sun room serves its purpose, but I’m also still adding a bit of water to the outside bowls as well as the bird bath, and every time I do, the cats (they’re too grown up to call kittens anymore!) come running and start playing with the water, and the ice still on the bottom. It’s like they’ve discovered the best toy ever in water and ice!!