We had the gate up, now we needed wire. Six feet high and angled in a bit at the top, we felt, would do the trick. The hardest part was unrolling it, because, as anyone who has ever worked with rolled up wire can tell you, it can be a bit unruly. However, with the two of us using all of our strongs, we wrestled it into position and fastened it to the railing with post staples.
Over by the gate, we used those zip tie things and fastened it to the gate on both sides.
I was a little concerned about the gap above the header. I know our cat Morpheus. He is a fierce climber and is completely capable of leaping six feet straight up to put his claws into wood. So we added wire above the header to discourage any leaping over the gate.
Once it was all in place, the grand unveiling took place. The cats had been waiting patiently for days – weeks even, if you were to ask them. They were lined up at the door in our master bedroom, which is how they access their own private space.
As the door was opened, they peeked out and one by one made their way onto the deck. Ahhhh! Fresh air! Sunshine! Freedom, sort of. For the former barn boys,
Lynkx and Morpheus, it was better than nothing but still not optimal. Torbie, our only female, was rescued from life under a deck at about 4 months of age, so despite her diminutive size (all four pounds of her), she is fearless and also an amazing climber. The other three cats are more of the “house” variety, and found the catio to be a huge outdoor playground, with lots of things to look at. They can only stand it for so long and then have to escape back into the safety of four walls.
All in all, the first encounter was a success. Happy cats, happy people.