We built our cat his own shelf. We took a wide piece of board, carpeted it, attached support brackets and screwed it to the wall. In a complete leap of faith, we built this cat-space before we even had a cat. Obviously we planned to get a cat – we weren’t randomly creating shelves for invisible animals – but we did build that shelf whilst entirely cat-less. We did not know him, or his personality or his idiosyncrasies. Using our previous experiences with cats, and friends’ cats we theorised he would rate this shelf quite highly. This probability was largely skewed by the fact we’d attached the shelf above a heater.
Most cats love cooking themselves and gravitate towards any heat source, human or otherwise. The problem is, we were also vying against that other cat trait – indifference. Whatever you want your cat to do, they usually choose the opposite. You might create him a comfy little nest but he instead works his way into your wardrobe and sleeps on the clothes seemingly woven out of fur-magnets. He’s completely anti-social and shuns all guests except for the person allergic to cats. You get my point.
As much as we believed he would love his warm spot above the heater, we wondered if we’d jinxed the shelf simply by wanting him to want it. Not so. While it took a little food bribery for him to adjust to the concept, once he did, the shelf got more snooze-time than our laps. He persisted with it even though we made it a little too narrow and he’d often be forced to hang a leg off the side. He’s used his shelf (especially in winter) for the last nine years.
A couple of months ago we decided to upgrade him to a wider and roomier shelf under the belief it would be easier as he approached his senior years. Just to spite us, he hasn’t shown any interest in the new one.
But, I digress. I know you’re wondering how any of this has to do with ‘reassurance’.
Well, I realised that the old shelf (the one we took down) would fit perfectly above that small window in the back room. As soon as I had that thought, I realised I’d had it before. Nine years ago when we built a shelf for a cat we didn’t have. It was my contingency plan for the shelf, in case our cat hated it. Of course, he loved it so my brain had dismissed the memory. Until now.
Sometimes I lose creative ideas because I’m unable to write them down. Sometimes, someone interrupts a thought just as I attempt to lock it into place. I panic. What if it was brilliant? What if it was the perfect thought?
So, the next time an idea is snatched from you, or you feel the need to stab someone because they replaced your awesome idea with a conversation on the weather, rest assured. You’ve already had the idea once, the second time will surely be easier. If you need to, you can retrace your thought processes but the real key is importance. If it is important, you will remember.
Why? Because cats.