I am very excited to report that I ordered the CATHOLE: “Cat Door with a Brush”.  (Not to be confused with the other kind of cathole, although not unrelated.)  I plan to put the litter box in the closet outside the bathroom, as seen in my floor plan post.  This will be convenient for scooping it (Jarrod’s most loathsome chore) and should contain all of the tracked litter.

The closet has a bifold door, so I’m banking on being able to remove it from its track so that I can install the cathole.  Installation should otherwise be easy.  Look at those rave reviews!  D.E. from Chicago declares “I did it all by myself! ( I am a 30 year old female!)”  30-year-old females: there’s no limit to what we can do.

Made in America and protected by U.S. Patent No. 5,458,088.

Stupid dogs, you can’t fit through the cathole.


(Update: You can see the finished see the CATHOLE installed in this follow-up post.)

Bedroom Light Fixture

We did it!  This was definitely a two-person project.  It was stressful when I first removed the existing light fixture: the wires were confusing and it took some finagling to mount the new fixture (it’s not perfectly flush with the ceiling, but it’s not noticeable from the floor).  At one point when I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew, I asked Jarrod “Is this really stupid?” to which he replied “It seems like it right now, but it could go either way.”  I’m happy to report it went the right way.

Catio Portal Project

The cats love being on the patio – so much so that they get really bitchy when their catio access is cut off.

Usually we keep a window open for them but that’s becoming a less appealing option for us as the temperature drops.  The other day I realized a scrap of wood I had leftover from another project was the perfect height for a window insert, so I ordered the cheapest pet door offered on ($13.99 PetSafe 2-Way Cat Flap – “Give your pets the freedom they deserve”).

I cut the wood to the correct length using my handsaw and then cut out the pet door hole using a hand-me-down RotoZip saw from my dad.


After painting the wood white, I applied foam strips to all four sides.  This roll was left in the library after the renovation at MGB; no one ever returned to claim it, so I took it.  It’s really useful stuff.

The foam helps the wood stay gripped in the window and makes a tight seal all around.

I can’t believe how well this turned out.  And quickly, too.

At first the cats don’t get it.

But treats help!


Of all of the things I worried about prior to moving into this apartment – the window air conditioners, the absence of a washer & dryers – the thing that should have kept me awake at night is PLASTER WALLS.  I had no idea what I was up against.  $40 worth of hollow wall anchors later, I still can’t get the over-the-mantle-mirror to stay on the wall.

This apartment is UNDECORATABLE.

oh man oh man oh man

Oh man oh man oh man: I bought this today!  The low price and the free shipping and the “Only 1 left in stock – order soon” was too much for me to resist!  Plus, it was 4:30 and I was really bored at work.

We used this sander in my woodworking class and I have wanted it ever since.  Two years is a long time to want something!  I don’t know why I didn’t buy it earlier.

I have a Black & Decker Mouse that I will continue to use for detail sanding, but its surface area isn’t great enough for larger jobs, it requires special-made (and expensive) sanding sheets and it vibrates big instead of fast, which leads to visible marks on the sanded surface and totally numb hands after five minutes of use.  Oh, and now I see that it’s been discontinued, which means I better stock up on those special-made (and expensive) sanding sheets.

I will put the Porter-Cable 330 Speed-Bloc to work on my new dresser. It’s not in great shape – I will need to:

#1: Fill in the crack in the top drawer front with wood filler.

#2. Sand everything, especially the top.

#3. Attach a simple guide thing to the bottom drawer so that it stays on the runner.

#4: Paint and stain!

I think the curves and squatness of this dresser will add something new and much-needed to our next apartment.  It’s been getting pretty boxy & leggy.  I can count 24 brown legs in this photo alone!