My cat’s who are named “Boots” and “Socks” love to play and sleep in their cat condo ever since I brought it home to them from Walmart. They feel safe and protected when they are inside. Upon looking at the weather for Halloween the Monday prior, I noticed that it had a high chance of rain. I decided right then and there that a Kitty Condo would be my Halloween costume for the year as it would protect me from the elements.
After looking at the design of my cat’s condo, I decided to go out to my local hardware store to try to recreated one for myself. I spent the entire day at work thinking about how I’m going to pull off my costume. I looked around and knew that I needed specific materials. My checklist was composed of:
- Shag Carpet preferably a taupe colored (approx 100 sq ft)
- Plywood 4×4 feet
- Metal Wire
- Many large sized zip ties
- 4/5 stuffed or toy cats
- Staple Gun and long staples
- Jig Saw
- Hot glue gun and glue
- Cat toys
- Old pair of pants
- Drill and drill bits
After gathering all my materials, I started to work on the construction of the base of my cat condo. I cut my plywood to a perfect square at 4×4 ft. After, I took my jigsaw and cut out a 3 ft diameter circle from the center of the square. The square would be the shelves of the base of the condo and the circular disc would be the foundation for the top of the house. I measured out the circumference of the circle and used that number to cut the width of the carpet.
For the height, I just measured from my waist to 4 inches past the top of my head. After cutting out my carpet, I took each edge from left to right of the carpet and used my coil metal wire – stitched the two edges together creating a carpet tube. The gauged wire gave the carpet its shape and would help make it more rigid. I took the carpet and started to wrap the top edges of the carpet along the edges of the round disc using my staple gun secured it to the wood.
After the top was completed, I started to work on the base. I took the square piece and placed it over some carpet. I used a sharp knife and started to cut around the edges giving it about a 4-inch allowance along each edge. I wrapped it and used my staple gun to make sure it was secure from the bottom. I then removed the circular area inside the square of my base allowing the cylinder piece to slide through the square. With that circle cut out of the carpet, I used that piece for the top portion of my cat condo. I stared to drill 8 holes on the base at least 2 inches past along the outside of the cut, making sure that they were evenly spaced out.
After I figured out where I wanted the shelf in relation to my body, I slid the cylinder into the base and used a knife to cut holes into the carpet. I used zip ties to attach the base to the walls of the cylinder making sure to thread the zip ties to the drilled-out holes of the base. After this, I needed to cut a hole out for my arms and my face. I placed the condo over my head and used a sharpie to place the locations. I used a sharp knife and cut out the holes. My Cat condo was complete! I used my nephew’s toy cats and used zip ties to attach them around the condo.
For the pants, I used a hot glue gun wrapping the rope around my legs. I also used the backside of the carpet, as this resembled a cat scratching, gluing down the carpet to my legs.
The morning of Halloween, my wife used her makeup and dolled me up like the world famous Grump Cat. I arrived at work (a surf company, Billabong) and won 2nd place. I had lost to Effie from the Hunger Games and was very disappointed as I did not get first, but I got the best reaction from my co-workers. I had won last year and felt they wanted to give others a chance to win.
After the contest I thought to myself what I needed to do to improve the costume. During my work episode I had come to the conclusion that the weight of the condo was too much for the top of my head so when I got home I started to construct suspenders that would be attached to the base. I cut long pieces of carpet from my residual stock and used zip ties to attach them. This work out great and allowed me the ability for my head to pop out of my costume.
The night of Halloween was a blast. The reactions I got were priceless, as everyone wanted to scratch me. The entire night I felt fingers rubbing across my back and the top of my head. The best part was that I was able to use my self as a table for my drinks and all my friends and buddies used them as well. It had also rained that night and being in my costume protected me from the rain.
The only down side was that my costume was a bit cumbersome and being at a crowded bar did not go well with the staff… but I guess some people are not Cat people!