Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Walking on Sunshine!

The RSPCA Cat Legacy House at Somersby has been busy planning and building outdoor climbing frames for the residents, since April 2010. While all cats have access to a landscaped garden, it lacked environment enrichment. It did not encourage the cats to be outside and to be active. This leads to behavioural problems and some very lazy cats!

Imagine looking at the same four walls and garden for five years. Enough to pull your hair out? Well that’s just what our Legacy Cat, Jia, was doing in his free time. We decided that Jia needed some enrichment by the way of a climbing structure. This would provide physical enrichment with different surfaces to explore and varying platforms to climb, jump and discover while also providing visual stimulation.

The concept for designing the climbing frames on this side of the house was to make use of the walls in the construction process. Some of the residents have smaller gardens (privacy issues) and the frames were planned to utilize the small space in the best possible way. With some clever thinking and design work, we were able to stretch our funds to incorporate 3 climbing frames and to trial ‘bunk beds’ in two rooms. The result? Jia now has a climbing frame that extends up and over his garden and incorporates a sunning platform and a tunnel to investigate. Fred has a climbing frame that includes a sunning platform, shady retreat and a hideaway tunnel. And Miss Mini and Miss Puss have a climbing frame that is shaded by their own native tree which includes a deluxe cabin to dream away their days.

The two boys are also trialing the bunk beds; Fred likes the top bunk and Jia the lower.

I am pleased that our climbing frames continue to benefit and enrich the lives of these much cherished cats. It does feel like they are Walking on Sunshine.

Lisa Brennan
Animal Attendant
RSPCA Cat Legacy House

p.s. Many thanks to Mick Clarke and the boys at Kincumber Men’s Shed, for their ongoing commitment to community projects; including their time, energy and beautiful construction of the RSPCA Cat Legacy House climbing frames.

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