The Catification of Palekaiko – The Introduction

Palekaiko [pahlayk-I-ko] is the Hawaiian word for paradise. I could have used the Norse word Valhalla, but we’re not Vikings. I always believed one’s home should be an oasis, your personal Paradise, the place where you feel most comfortable, most relaxed and safe. Mine has been anything but that for several years. This post is going to be long, so get a cup of Joe, get comfortable and read on.

I’ve been thinking about Maus lately. It stands to reason; it’s only been four months since she died. The summer is usually the time when I am finalizing the theme of the annual holiday card; getting the kidz outfit design to the seamstress, going through the kidz things to see what they need for the coming season.  I am still getting FB comments and emails about her and the 2013 holiday card. Last year’s pictures are still wandering around the web; you can’t beat how cute and beautiful she was. Even with the reminders, I haven’t been sad seeing the pictures.  To the contrary, I've felt a bit guilty. Not so much about how she cared for or the circumstances of her death, but rather the quality of her life. Don’t get me wrong; she was a happy little cat, and I adored her.  She had a good life here with me. She and her brothers never wanted for anything and were/are greatly loved by me. I’m thinking more of some of the pitfalls of my life and how that impacted the three of them.

I lived in the same tiny apartment with a friend of mine (just friends) for many years. Without going into the minute details of how I came to live in this space with the “roommate,” let me say a bit about how our life has progressed…or rather not progressed.

I'm a bit stuck.  My life for the past several years could only be characterized by saying I've lived a motel existence. I moved here because I worked not more than a mile from the apartment. Everything I needed was within walking distance, and the rent was cheap. Despite the convenience, I never settled into this space. I always kept most of what I had packed and ready to move. After a couple of years of living this way, the neighborhood grew on me; the roommate was making plans of his own to go elsewhere and decided since I was going to stay, I should do things to signify staying put. Adopting Jake, Maus and later, Moshe Moshi was part of that symbolism, none of which I regret in the least.

Things in my life and the roommate’s life didn't pan out how we planned and though both of us always kept transition intentions in place; neither of us was acting on them very much. The “kidz” had what they needed, toys, cat trees, food, healthcare…not extravagant and sometimes a struggle, but we did okay. As my old furniture started to break down, either it was not cost effective to repair, and because I always had to move in the back of my head, I just threw it out and did not replace it. I had no problem replacing cat trees until three years ago when diagnosed as dust mite and pet dander sensitive. Out of that, the carpeted cat trees had to go. I de-cluttered and eliminated anything that was collecting and holding dust. I opened boxes and alleviated myself of everything I was never going to use or no longer needed. I did this until my space became little more than it is now; my mattress, an old CRT-TV, five plastic storage bins, one office chair, two dining chairs, a table, my pots and pans, minimal dishes, my prize vintage 1940’s China set, minimal clothing and nothing else. The cats had places where they could perch and play, climb into empty closets and high cabinets, but it wasn't ideal.  Though time after time I would tell myself I'd replace things, I just didn't follow through completely.

I think maybe it’s time.

Hauspanther recently did a giveaway from ContempoCat Furniture of wall shelves (First 500 got their choice of shelves from ContempoCat’s collection). We were one of the lucky 500 and managed to snag four square shelves and decorative pieces to bind them to the wall. As it arrived, I was thinking what would be the point of having this gift if I didn't follow through with putting them up? I still feel guilt that Maus is not here to enjoy them, but I can choose to make the boyz’ life here extraordinary and have my home be the oasis I've always said it should be.

With all the buzz about Catification, Kate Benjamin’s book with Jackson Galaxy coming out soon, I’m taking the opportunity to make this space ideal for me and the naked kidz.

Each month we will post about each change/project we make in our living area. Some of these changes will be for reasons of Catification, some will be for environmental/allergy management, but everything we do will be a balancing act between both functions AND how to do this effectively within a small space (remember, the apartment is tiny). We are doing this project over the course of a year. We have a budget for all areas of improvement and change and will provide information on where we bought our project piece(s) or which sponsor provided us with each item, time/materials of project and price. We did not want to rush this; we wanted to write a post that was full of all the info you would need to consider the same project or something similar, and I just didn't think I could do that effectively in a short amount of time. We also wanted time to take suggestions. We may post a project that has a better solution, and you can suggest what you did under similar circumstances. Either way, we wanted you to participate in this transformation.

A tab will appear in our menu bar that will say "Catification".  Links to all the post we do over the year you can reference on that page.

We thank our readers and fans for hanging in there with us for so long.  A good portion of you have stayed with us from Coffee, Cats n' Yarn and Life in the Big City and we are forever grateful for your presence.

Tomorrow's post is for Blog Hops.  Thursday we will post about our new "Under the Cat's Paw" page.

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