Pet Parenting
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My Cat Is Cautiously Bonding with His Giant Cat Tree

We assembled Cosmo's new cat tree and I expected an immediate love connection.

Angie Bailey  |  Apr 18th 2016


Cosmo and I recently moved into an apartment. We were living in a house where there were tons of windows, and Cos could easily watch neighborhood squirrels and birds, as well as weird dogs walking on the sidewalk. The window in our new place is about five feet off the ground and there’s no easy way for my kitty to enjoy views of the great outdoors. I needed to remedy this situation, and fast!

I connected with Pet Tree Houses, who agreed to send me one of their fabulous trees in exchange for a review on my Catladyland blog. Well, I don’t have to tell you that this news thrilled me to no end. I love their natural trees and they were willing to custom build one so there were perches available at my window-level. Bonus!

Last week, two giant boxes arrived containing all the supplies we’d need to assemble Cosmo’s new tree. My good friend Julia, a talented engineer, agreed to help me put the tree together. Who am I kidding? She put it together and I occasionally held something while she drilled. Oh, and then there was Cosmo. He “helped,” too.

"This is mine, and this is mine, and this one , too."

“This is mine, and this is mine, and this one , too.”

Of course he was curious when we began unpacking the boxes. His feline instinct compelled him to rub his face against each log, platform, and piece of carpet. “How do you do? I’m Cosmo. Welcome to my home, stranger. Maybe we’ll develop a longtime relationship.”

Then he saw — or rather heard — the drill. At that point he seemed to rethink the potential relationship.

Cosmo doesn't care a bit for the drill. See what I did there?

Cosmo doesn’t care a bit for the drill. See what I did there?

Cosmo became more and more curious as the pieces of the cat tree came together. He had no idea what to think about this ever-growing shapeshifter. So he continued smelling everything, because that’s what cats do.

Foreman Cosmo is on the job.

Foreman Cosmo is on the job.

In between the smelling, he wandered around like a foreman at a construction site. Somebody has to do quality control, and if this beast was going to be joining his environment, he was going to be the one to sign off on it … even if he was still unsure if it was friend or foe.

So many smells, so little time.

So many smells, so little time.

When the new cat tree finally went completely upright, Cosmo examined the base while my friend and I added the silk foliage. The 7.5-foot tree grew branches and Cosmo grew increasingly confused. This resulted in, of course, more sniffing.

"I'm so confused."

“I’m so confused.”

After the tree was fully assembled, I placed Cosmo on one of the middle perches, fully expecting him to be all like, “This is so cool, Mom! Thank you for providing me with this amazing piece of art that will allow me to watch all the neighborhood activity outside the window! I’d forgotten all about ‘outside!'” Naw — the wasn’t at all what happened. He immediately looked for a path back down to the floor. What? I’m not gonna lie — it was disappointing.

Cosmo realizes he's in a tree and panics.

Cosmo realizes he’s in a tree and panics.

I was worried he’d never bond with this beautiful new addition to our home. They’re supposed to be friends! On Facebook I mentioned Cosmo’s fear of the new tree and one of the company’s owners told me not to worry and that initial skittishness is a common occurrence. He said to give him time and he’d explore it on his own terms. It’s been a few days now and he’s made it to the middle perches a couple of times. He’s even figured out how to get down! Progress!

I feel like I’ve set up two people on a blind date, hoping they’d immediately hit it off and become inseparable. I suppose, just like any kind of relationship, it takes time to get to know one another. Cosmo’s not willing to give it up on the first “date,” and I don’t blame him. I just know that soon they’ll find that special connection and I’ll be all, “I knew it would happen.” I’m a total matchmaker, right?

Very soon, this beautiful tree and Cosmo will be one.

Very soon, this beautiful tree and Cosmo will be one.