Cowboy Cat Ranch
2016, September 13th

Yesterday they put up the final panel and by the time the sun set we had our patio completely closed off. Earlier this morning we were LIVE on Facebook, showing the cats going outside for the first time. I have added a couple more videos. You can still watch all of them on our Facebook page. We had already paid $5,225 so far, which was mainly for materials. We had to pay another $2,780 for labor, making the total cost for this project $8,005. It is a lot of money, but we have added over 500 square foot of outdoor living space for the cats, in addition to the 2,000 square foot they have inside. If you live in the San Antonio, TX area and you are looking for a contractor to help you build an outdoor enclosure for your cat or cats, you can contact Greg Stone from Stone Contracting Service via 210 412 6408.

Finally outside.

The outdoor enclosure is complete.

The final panel is going in.

2016, September 8th

Things are going slower than promised by the contractor, plus they made an error that i want them to correct. Therefore, i don't expect the cats can go out before Wednesday next week. It already looks really nice though and all but one of the nine 12 gauge woven stainless steel panels are framed in now (one needs to stay out until all the work is done on the inside).

View from the outside. It needs a final touch of paint.

View from inside. It looks a bit narrow, but it's 7.5 foot wide of useful space (and almost 70 foot long).

2016, September 4th

Hello dear friends. As promised yesterday on our Facebook page i will explain to you why i founded Cowboy Cat Ranch. First, let me tell you a little more about the ranch house. It's a 2,000 square foot one story house (excluding the garage) on 5 acres of land. It is about 100 foot away from the road and is surrounded by bushes and trees. We have seen many animals already since we moved in here about 3 weeks ago: quail, roadrunners, deer, scorpions, blue jays, cardinals, rabbits, birds of prey and hummingbirds. It is very entertaining for the cats to watch all these animals. The ranch comes with a porch that is 7.5 x 68 foot (a bit over 500 square foot). In addition to the animals we have seen so far, we know there are hogs, snakes, coyotes, bobcats and even mountain lions living in the Hill Country as well. We are currently working on enclosing the complete patio so the cats can enjoy the outside (the wind, the bugs, the sounds, the smells, the rain, etc.) but still be safe from cars, birds of prey and other predators living on the ground. The work should be done by the end of next week and we will go live on Facebook when the cats will go outside for the first time since they arrived at their new home.

We have adopted our 5 cats from the shelter and we want them to live a happy and healthy life, with them being as much cat as they can and want (more about this later). My wife works full time and is a professor at the University of Texas. I have chosen to work part time so the cats will not have to be alone most of the time. I also work at the University of Texas, but as a senior research scientist. In additon to the research i get paid for, i do research on feline health and disease. Our first paper was published last year and we are about to submit our second manuscript in a couple of weeks or months. Soon you will be able to read all about the research here on this website as well. In a few years, when our financial situation allows it, we are planning on adding a room and another outdoor enclosure to the house so we can bring home several old, terminally ill cats living in shelters somewhere in Texas. These cats typically do not get adopted any more and we would love to give them a home for their final months or years, so they can cross the Rainbow Bridge while being loved and in peace.

2016, September 2nd

Up to 5 people have been working on the enclosure for the cats the past couple of days. Lots of sanding, painting, cutting and drilling. The panels that are in the openings now will be taken out again and everything will be painted one more time. They also removed some brick to make space for the new 6 by 6 posts, allowing to also close off the sides. According to the contractor the enclosure should be finished by Tuesday. You can see the cats going outside for the first time since they arrived at Cowboy Cat Ranch live on our Facebook page.

View from inside.

Made space for a 6 by 6 post.

A lot of work going on.

2016, August 29th

It took forever to find a contractor to help build the enclosure for our cats and to decide on the dimensions and what materials to use. For financial and fire safety reasons we decided not to extend the enclosure beyond the existing patio. Therefore the dimensions will only be 70 ft long, 8 ft wide and 8 ft high. Last week we ordered the metal panels for the enclosure: 12 gauge woven stainless steel with 1/2 inch openings (see pictures below). $3,450 and change for 9 panels, each about 10 ft by 8 ft, but it's extremely high quality. The panels were picked up and delivered by the contractor last Thursday. The next day he bought and delivered the lumber (see picture below) that is needed for this project: about $1,300. Last Friday evening we bought primer and paint (Sherwin-Williams Emerald): $475. The total for just the materials at this point is $5,225. I don't think we will need a lot more materials, but we will still have to pay for the labor. Today they put in the first panel (see picture below) and i must say i am quite pleased with the result so far. Most importantly, hopefully our cats can go outside at the end of this week.

Production of the panels at Precision Screen Manufacturing in San Antonio, TX.

Production of the panels at Precision Screen Manufacturing in San Antonio, TX.

Production of the panels at Precision Screen Manufacturing in San Antonio, TX.

It really is as thick and strong as it looks on this picture.

Half inch openings.

The cedar wood: 18 2x6 (10 ft), 18 2x6 (8 ft), 18 2x4 (10 ft) and 18 2x4 (8 ft).

John painting the posts.

John cutting the panel so it will fit exactly.

The view from within the enclosure.

The view from outside the enclosure.

2016, July 8th

Next month we'll be moving to San Antonio, Texas. We bought a house (see picture below) in the countryside, with 5 acres of land. We'll be constructing an outdoor enclosure for our 5 cats of about 70 ft long, 20 ft wide and 8 ft heigh. Inside the house we'll build many shelves on the walls and we'll make some holes in the walls to connect rooms for them. Since we'll be living in Texas and in memory of our beloved Cowboy (see pictures below), a cat who we met at Room 8, a cat sanctuary in Riverside, California, we have decided to name our home after him: Cowboy Cat Ranch.

As of next week hopefully our new home, just outside of San Antonio, Texas.

Beautiful Cowboy. I took this photograph of him about a day before he passed away.

Cowboy was one of the cats who participated in our study on olfactory enrichment.

Cowboy rolling around in my lap, enjoying silver vine powder.