Friday, April 12, 2013


Without order there is chaos. This simple principle is often true in life but never so true as when you live with animals. In our house, we may as well live with a hoard of raccoons. Our once lovely, playful kittens are now full grown cats whose sole purpose in life seems to center around seeking out food.

I think that this stems from the fact that they are on fairly restrictive diets and as such, they want that which they can not have. The worst is the girl. She is the ring leader, crafty as a Capuchin and strong as a black bear. Remarkably adept at opening the pull out cabinet that contains the kitchen garbage so as to rummage through looking for tasty morsels, all the while strewing filth about. The boy is usually but the reluctant accomplice and often just the innocent bystander, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A few months back we purchased automated electronic feeders that dispense kibble at scheduled intervals and in prescribed quantities. Despite some initial kinks to work out, they have been working pretty well for a mid-day feeding of 1/4 cut of kibble each. We also have a water fountain for them and have for some time. This means we have three electronic devices on the floor in the kitchen. That creates some clutter and is an easy target for people, often whom have been drinking, to trip on them.

The other issue is that our cats delight in molesting the kibble dispensers, very much like a squirrel ripping apart a bird feeder. When finesse and the paw up into the delivery chute trick fails they result to brute force and just start tearing. Right past the squirrel, over the raccoon and onto the black bear tactics. The pure escalation is swift, sure and often effective, which is the worst part. It gives them hope and positive reinforcement. They learn that all they need to do is keep pushing and keep tearing and eventually, succulent kibble will probably flow from the mouth of the reverent god of lunch.

The core theme is that they can move the feeder, which then allows them to disembowel it. My theory is that if they can't move it or get under it to tip it over, there will once again be order in the kitchen. With order will come peace and quiet rather than the sounds of destruction at 2AM or 10AM or 3PM. As such I built a organizer tray to hold their feeders and water which has sides to it, making it impossible (I hope) for them to move the pieces.

The whole unit is far too heavy for them to move, again I hope. They seem to be able to move the dining room table and all eight chairs, but that is another story. I built the organizer from a bunch of oak that I had in the shop, remnants of an old table I'd built years back and subsequently dismantled. A thick coat of urethane will hopefully protect it from the perils it is sure to face.
Nothing fancy, but hopefully functional.


Paulba said...

Looks really good! I like those mitre cuts. How'd you do the handles? drill two holes then use a saw to connect the holes?

mkr said...

Thanks. I actually used a forstner bit to bore four overlapping "finger grip" holes. Was going to bore two and then saw out between but though the grip look would be neater.