The Physical Plant:
To date, there have been three physical catterys
The intial cattery "Catanamo (tm) 1" was a 22'x24'x7' garage that was divided into 6 (six) sections with multiple
levels. Catanamo1 operated from 1997 to 2009
"Catanamo 2" was a 24'x24'x10'' space in a former 50,000 hen chicken farm. Again, it was divided into
6 (six) sections with multiple levels. Catanamo 2 operated from May 2009 to November 2009
"Catanamo 3" -- the current cattery is a 40'x8x8' space in a former dairy farm now raise livestock It is divided
into 5 (five) sections with multiple levels. Catanamo 3 has operated from November 2009 to present.
Currently, theree are three female sections and two male sections which I have maintained as separate communes that
somewhat grew because of generations, convenience, and a desire not to invoke the reordering of hierarchies that could lead
to fighting and injury.
As opposed to dogs or humans who live on one level at a time, cats live on as many as provided. Several levels
exist to augment the square footage.
Of all devices, the cats universally enjoy six-foot, wooden ladders for exercise, resting, and occasionally a little
hierarchical “King-of-the-Mountain.” Unfortunately, wooden ladders in general are becoming extinct in favor
of fiberglass & aluminum.
Also, due to the fencing that encloses the sections, all cats are excellent climbers.
The Catanamo 1 was OPEN 24/7/365 to fresh air and temperature variations with the two garage door openings framed
and fenced in with 2”x4” metal fencing, which prevented the cats' escape and a predator’s entrance.
A rear door, also covered with 2”x4 inch metal screening, was left opened to provide circulation, except in the
severe winter. Notwithstanding, there were locations in each section to protect the cats from the wind. The
cats’ amazing inner thermostats lead them to the proper locations. I have witnessed this thermal sensitivity to
be within a 12” inches on a counter-top.
Catanamo 2 was an interim facility while Catanamo 3 was found and built. It was more enclosed and the use of fans
Catanamo 3, while is like #1, airy.
Each section is open to accommodate the flow of air. This includes the winter.
As noted in other places, the goal of this breeding program was to grow hardycats... not pussycats! Notwithstanding,
the cats are PROTECTED, from harsh elements, though they themselves show no reason to need assistance.
Nonetheless, I have established rules for extreme weather:
When the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, heat lamps, sufficient
to "blanket" all huddled cats,
are turned on. One should note, however, that cats
by nature are attracted to heat and their position under the lamps
is usually no
more than an indication of their preference. It is not uncommon to see cats,
curled-up alone, in
the outside enclosed area or near a portal, in the 10 degree weather.
Notwithstanding the "au natural" cattery environment, attention is paid to the
development of the cats’ coats
in the late Fall when a cold “snap” can bring
overnight-temperatures into the low teens. When this situation
arises, heat lamps are used briefly from midnight to early morning to get the cats through the night... but, they are not
available during the day which would retard their coat growth.
Likewise, during the summer months, six, 20” electric box fans are available to circulate air when the temperature
ranges into the 80s, or the humidity is high, even if the temperature is only 70 degrees. Fan use during this time helps
to circulate and disipate the vapors from respiration. Currently, due to the mountain plateau on which the farm
exists, natural airflow from hillwinds provides adequate circulation.