Anyone who is a cat lover is well-versed in the ways of the feline. They love to climb up high and traipse along precarious perches much to the astonishment of us humans below. And they do it with such ease too. Cats are graceful creatures the way they undulate their bodies across, around, and through small surface spaces.
At least most of the time. Every so often you get a little kitty klutz, like my sweet baby Felicity. She is far from graceful and is much like a bull in a china shop when on small surface levels. But even she likes to be up high on places, looking down on us mere mortal humans.
Regardless of kitty grace, I’m convinced that all cats are playing an eternal game of “the floor is lava,” the way they seem to go out of their way to avoid it when walking from point A to point B. And we facilitate them too, even if we don’t realize it.
And it seems to be their love of heights that got Switzerland-based designer and writer Brigitte Schuster to document the ways in which we aid our kitty overlords in achieving their desires to climb. Schuster came out with a new book called “Swiss Cat Ladders,” which focuses primarily on outdoor cat stairways within the city of Bern. The book highlights the different approaches people take in creating complex scaffolding jungles in which the cats can easily get from floor to ceiling – literally.
In her research, Schuster found that homemade cat ladders can take on many forms. Sometimes, they’re a vertical pathway that is created from a preexisting architectural element like treads attached to a drain pipe. While other examples can be ladders which are affixed way after the construction of the buildings.
They are zig-zagged slats found along an exterior wall or a thin walkway that goes between a tree and a balcony. No matter how these things are built, there is one thing for sure that they have in common: they offer cats an easy way to climb to their hearts’ delight.
Besides all the pictures of the cat ladders, Schuster also included diagrams, along with an essay that explores the “sociological, architectural and aesthetic perspectives” of the structures. You can pre-order a copy of “Swiss Cat Ladders” through Schuster’s website. However, keep in mind that to fill out the order form you have to scroll all the way down.
In the meantime enjoy some of the images of the cat ladders. Might serve as inspiration for any of you out there that have an indoor/outdoor kitty and want to construct them easier access passages in and out of the home. Our cats can be furry little gobshites at times, but we certainly love them, don’t we?
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.
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