Meet Paul Roberts, kitty-daddy of Banjo and Blossom. He has a cat’s dream job: He owns a cardboard company.
"Score!" shout the kitties. "Unlimited scraps and boxes!"
"Well, sure," Roberts replies, "but I can do better than that."
See, Roberts also dabbles in design. And when he went looking for kitty furniture a couple of years ago and found only small scratch pads and bigger, high-end kitty trees and condos, he set out to make his own thing.
Smaller scratch items selling for $10-$20 and "were incredibly limited, aesthetically and functionally," Roberts says, while the bigger cat structures (the ones he found sold for more than $100 each) "were awesome, but who could afford them?"
Roberts suspected that a piece of cat furniture couldn’t cost that much to make, so he tested his hypothesis.
"My criteria were pretty simple," he says. "Minimalist aesthetic, tons of functionality, and affordable price."
(And there’s also that whole "I own a cardboard company" thing to give him a head start, but hey, play to your strengths, we say.)
Hence, the $34.95 Kittyblock was born.
What is the Kittyblock? It’s essentially a bunch of sheets of cardboard — “corrugated fiberboard," as industry insiders say — stuck together with starch-based adhesive and then cut into big bricks with square holes in the center.
It’s a box. It’s a multisided scratching pad. It’s a hiding place. It’s a sleeping place. It’s something to chase other cats through. It’s something to knock over and crawl into from the top.
"Your kitty might lounge peacefully on/inside the Kittyblock," Roberts says on his website. "Conversely, your kitty may decide their purpose in life is to shred and destroy the Kittyblock."
Banjo (a tabby) and Blossom (a calico) agreed to field-test the prototypes before Roberts could finish asking the question.
Today you can win a Kittyblock and have your cat test it for you.
Outside, it measures about 15 inches on all dimensions, according to the Kittyblock website. The hole is about 10 inches square and 15 inches deep. The whole thing weighs about 8 pounds. It’s stackable.
Because the Kittyblock is cardboard, it’s recyclable — but you might want to keep that fact from the kitties. They consider themselves born recyclers.
To win a Kittyblock, go to the Kittyblock page on Facebook and "like" the item. (We’ll check that, by the way.) Then come back to this story and leave a comment about why your kitty or kitties need a Kittyblock. The story we like best will be the winner.
To be eligible, you must use your Disqus account to comment below. Creating a profile and avatar takes just a minute, and is a great way to participate in Catster’s community of people who are passionate about cats. (And note that if your Disqus account doesn’t contain a valid e-mail address, you can’t win because we can’t contact you. So please check your account.)
We’ll notify the winner by e-mail, and you have two days to respond before we choose someone else.
The deadline is 12 noon PST on Wednesday, Sept. 26. U.S. residents only. (Sorry, everyone else.) Good luck!