I decided a few days ago that the kittens needed something to scratch besides my furniture. We had owned a big scratching post when we had Lizzy and Hank. The KingofHearts and I built it together over ten years ago when we were first dating and because it was designed by him, it was not surprisingly slightly over-engineered. It weighed about sixty-five pounds and if we ever had a tornado come take the entire neighborhood, our house, and all our belongings away, I'm confident we could have easily picked out the lot our house once stood on because the cat tree would still be there. We had replaced the carpet on it two or three times over it's lifetime and that was a huge pain in the keister, so we finally decided last Christmas when we were trying to rid the living room of excess furniture that we could safely get rid of it and feel that we got our money's worth from the project. If we wanted one later, we could buy one much easier than it was to secure the carpet for another recovering adventure.

So we "threw it away," which in our neighborhood, means we put it out by the curb and waited for the guy down the block to cruise the neighborhood in his hatchback at three miles per hour, notice that there was something new on the curb, then stop and load up the scratching post into his car. This man has cleared my yard of old gutters, a dish washing machine, a broken printer, warped ironing boards, a Fisher Price kids slide with three legs, and a veritable plethora of other things. I do not know what he does with all our trash. I do not care. I am just glad I do not have to take the stuff to the recycling center myself or call the county to pick it up and then wait for six weeks while they decide whether or not they might oblige. We call this Bulky Trash Pickup That Our Tax Dollars Did Not Pay For.

When I wanted another cat tree, I went to my old trusty standby, the Interweb. I wanted something tall, so the kitties could escape the maniacal clutches of the girls when they needed a break from the constant carrying and scolding from under four foot tall people that they've already had to endure. Did you know can spend your entire life savings on cat furniture? You can give them anything from an beach themed vacation and a taste of the old west to a home designed completely around your cat. And don't let my condescending tone here fool you; while I do think it's a waste of money and might mock it every chance I get, I am also basically a sucker for the animals who is secretly jealous I cannot find the money to spare so I could totally do this.

But *insert whiny tone here* I decided to do the "responsible" thing and not spend down my kids' college fund (I'm responsible adult, blah, blah, blah. Do this, do that, blah, blah, blah!) and looked instead on ebay, where I bought a cat tree for, get this, $.99 (that's ninety-nine CENTS, I just wrote it that way because I couldn't find the ¢ symbol... oh wait, there it is!) plus $61.78 in shipping. This may seem like a lot to you and it does to me too, but let me just say it was less than half the cost of shipping anything else on ebay, and the whole $62.77 was a mere fraction of the price of a similar product in a retail store. Also... still less than what I found used on my local craigslist with the added benefit of not having to forty miles on the Beltway with a cat tree hanging out of my back window that reeks of cigarette smoke and bacon grease.

It was tall, kinda cool looking, clean, and cheap. Everything you could want and more.

So here's the downside to buying a gigantic cat tree for $.99 on the Interweb. You spend your evening putting up a masterpiece like this...

...and they sleep in the box: