Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Fur Friendly Furniture

If your home is anything like the offices of Inspector Spot, it will be littered in furry creatures and their beds.  A little while ago we decided to do a giant overhaul of both our office and our houses, get rid of the multicoloured cat and dog beds and look at sleeping solutions that were more in keeping with our decor.

It turns out there are lots of ways to keep your resident furs happy - it just takes a little bit of creativity.  Here's what we did for our little guys:

The Dogs

The first change was to the dogs' sleeping quarters.  We replaced their grubby old dog beds with a beautiful retro suitcase (an original one from Britain, complete with beautiful wooden trim).  We removed the insert that divided the suitcase into layers, and sourced a big old woollen blanket to sit inside.  This blanket was turned into a duvet cover (so we can remove it and wash it when they stomp their grubby little feet all over it), and was filled with old pillows.

While the suitcase was built for two naughty little monkeys, it was taken over by the pitbull puppy we fostered last year.  This little guy went from living in a backyard, covered in fleas and with a belly full of worms to snuggling into this beautiful suitcase.  Yes, he's wearing a lead in this photo.  We were teaching him NOT to chase the resident cats!

The Cats

When it came to the cats, we were determined to do something a little different.  A few hours spent surfing the internet produced an old iMac computer which had already had its insides removed (very important, as we discovered you can electrocute yourself trying to remove the electrical bits and bobs).  We made up a cat-sized duvet cover to fit the case, stuffed it with another old pillow which we cut in half and voila! we had a cat-sized alternative to a traditional cat bed.

But that wasn't all.  We are a multiple-cat office so we needed additional places for the furs to cuddle up.  We discovered old art deco tables often came with several layers, so we found an original one on TradeMe and brought it home for a spot of upcycling.  A trip to Spotlight produced a length of black fur which was designed for making teddy bears, which we cut into a round shape to fit the table.  A few minutes on the sewing machine and a few handfuls of stuffing, and we had another cat-friendly spot to sleep.

The Other Critters

But wait, there's more!  Our offices are also home to a selection of rabbits - including a pair of mini lops and a pair of Flemish Giants.  We decided that a few items of multi-purpose furniture were in order.  The first item we chose was a little wooden kennel with an upstairs verandah.  It was the perfect place for the cats, dogs or rabbits to snooze - either inside or on the top.  The baby bunnies appropriated the kennel almost as soon as it arrived.  It now bears the marks of tiny little rabbit teeth. We popped a cozy blanket on the top and a stuffed fur duvet inside to keep everyone nice and warm.

One of our team members also had a window seat installed - officially for humans to sit on, but in reality it's become a perch for all kinds of furry creatures.  The cushion is covered in raw silk (which fur doesn't seem to stick to) and there's another retro blanket which spends half its life on the window seat and the other half in the washing machine.

What on earth does interior decorating have to do with Inspector Spot?  Well, we're strong advocates for animals spending as much time indoors as part of the family as possible.  It keeps them happy, makes them feel loved and stops them from roaming.  But accommodating pets requires a spot of creative thinking if you don't want a house that's over-run with pet beds.  We have an above-average number of animals through our office and our team members' houses, but each one is beautifully accommodated without a single pet-store pet bed in sight.

1 in 3 Pets go missing.  Inspector Spot tracks them down.  If your pets are not registered with him yet, visit to get them registered today.

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