Walkways with neon lights, cat-shaped holes in walls and floor-to-ceiling scratch posts – the feline friendliest home ever
A U.S. couple obsessed with cats have created a feline fun-house, complete with a 140ft super-highway of colourful catwalk and multi-level staircases.
Husband and wife Bob Walker and Frances Mooney’s beloved rescue cats can move from room to room through specially designed and built cat-shaped cubby holes installed between the walls of their San Diego home.
The animals are the lords of all they survey – with their nine proud cats looking down their noses at guests from majestic 8ft-high ramps.
The pair have installed neon lights on the walkways to guide the animals at night, too.
In fact, this cat house is a temple devoted to everything feline with cat statues, portraits, paintings and carpets printed with leopard spots and tiger stripes.
And the vast array of toys and the well-used floor-to-ceiling scratching posts ensure these cats are never bored.
‘If possession is nine-tenths of the law, then this really is their house,’ said 60-year-old Mr Walker.
‘The least you can do is consider their needs and make the house wonderful.’
The couple’s fascination with felines began when they adopted their first cat on their wedding day.
The animals are the lords of all they survey – with their nine proud pusses looking down their noses at guests from majestic 8ft-high ramps
‘It even shared our wedding bed that night,’ continued Mr Walker.
The inspiration for the catwalks came to Bob from a childhood memory of visiting his model train hobbyist uncle.
‘He had one of those train sets that go around the room,’ said Mr Walker.
‘And everybody who has cats knows that they love to be up high.
‘We built a scratching column that was 395ft of rope wrapped around wood and the cats would run full speed up it and come to a dead end.
‘So we started to expand, it was just a natural thing ‘Most of our cats come from shelters.
‘At one time we had a dozen, but right now we’ve got nine.’
The couple created the wacky cat house in the belief that by providing their pets with abstract three dimensional ramps their lives would be enriched.
Little did they know that by taking this small step for feline-kind in their own home they would be making a giant leap in Californian attitudes to domestic space.
Their lovingly converted suburban house has inspired a movement of fellow cat-lovers to build surreal feline play structures in their homes.
And Mr Walker and his 59-year-old wife’s feline folly has become a landmark for locals and tourists visiting their area.
Last time they opened their home to visitors they received 900 guests in four hours.
Since building his cat house Mr Walker has become an author and photographer, and has produced books on the house.
‘It’s pretty amazing how changing our house for our cats completely changed our lives,’ he added.