We came up with the idea of building an open-air

enclosure in winter 2003/2004. There was

 nothing to do outside, so we let ourselves get

 carried away with making plans for the spring.

But it wasnt all that easy. Where were we to put

 our outdoor enclosure? Behind the office, on a

 little terrace, or should we sacrifice our big

 birdhouse?  After a lot of discussion, we decided

 on letting go of the aviary. A good friend and

 animal lover took our parakeets, and we

started working in February.

Unfortunately, there was no direct connection

 between the enclosure and the house, as there

 is a wide path in-between. I had seen a

homepage, showing a house and enclosure

being connected by a kind of tunnel, it looked

 very nice and fitted in with the surroundings.

 But for our house this did not seem to be the

 right solution, and so we had to think it over

and over ..!

Finally it all fell into place. What we needed

was a large wide drainpipe. A small trench was

 dug across the path between our house and the

 enclosure and the drainpipe was inserted, one

 end pointing to the window of my

laundry room, the other leading into

the open-air enclosure.

To protect it from rain and snow, we built a

little hut over it, then everything was filled up

 with earth again and paved with the old

concrete slabs.

There is a cat flap in the window  of my laundry

 room, so that our little darlings can move freely,

 and go out or stay in the house, just as they like.

However, they do spend most of their time in

the open-air enclosure, they just love it. Half

of the enclosure has a roof, so that our cats can

 also stay outside to marvel at the rain or snow.

Meanwhile the lawn is growing and we are

 looking forward to the summer, because then,

on mild summer evenings, we can watch our

 darlings in their enclosure, while we are sitting

 on the bench that we bought especially for

that purpose.

Id really like to advise anybody, who has the

opportunity to build an open-air enclosure,

to do so. Your cats will really appreciate their

 new living space.

May 2007