Why You Should Help Your Friends Move

I am not interested in buying your house, but I would like to use your rest room, flip through your magazines, rearrange your carefully shelved items, and handle your food products in an unsanitary manner.

– Apu Nahasapeemapetilon

People often moan about helping their friends and family move, but there are several very good reasons why you should:

1. It’s the right thing to do.

2. They probably helped you move at some point.

3. They will give you cool stuff to avoid moving it.

We are not at all happy to be losing our dear friends Paul and Anne to Colorado. “Mountains are overrated,” we said. “Who needs a job? You can live in our basement,” we said. But they are still going, the big goofballs.

This is Paul and Anne

I’ve known Paul since the dawn of time, and we’re so glad he brought Anne into our lives. There’s no adequate consolation for seeing them less often, but we did end up with some really cool stuff out of the deal. For instance:


Drink enough of this and you won’t care.

More usefully, though, Paul and Anne donated a litter box bench to our feline dynamic duo. I’ve been meaning to build a bench to house the cat litter on the porch for about a year now, so procrastination has really paid off for me! I brought the thing home and left it unassembled for a while, which resulted in some in-depth sniffing and marking.

Can you spot the second investigatory cat?

Can you spot the second investigatory cat?

The bench is carpet-covered (for scratching purposes) and the structure is hinged so it folds flat. It’s a convenient design that would be pretty easy to copy (although I’m pleased that we don’t have to!).

Check out the unstripped porch floor!

Check out the unstripped porch floor!

Because it is hinged, though, it’s easy to push out of square. With all the wrestling our cats do, we figured it would be good to protect against that eventuality.

Cat box folded

Partially folded

The box has tabs along the inside bottom edge, so I decided to pick up a piece of oriented strand board to drop in to hold it square. After a quick measure, I ran over to Menards for a 2′ x 4′ piece to cut down.

Plywood, OSB, and similar products are typically sold to consumers in 4′ x 8′ sheets, but many box stores cut these sheets down to sell 4′ x 4′ and 2′ x 4′ sizes. These options are very convenient, but the cutting crew is mainly concerned with getting the cutting done, and will often leave the original bar code sticker on one of the resulting smaller sheets.

cat box OSB piece

After I paid, I realized that I’d been charged for the 4′ x 8′ based on the leftover UPC sticker. I stopped by the customer service desk, and a manager fixed the overcharge. As I walked away, though, I realized she accidentally changed it to the 4′ x 4′ price, and I had to have her fix it again. This sticker issue has happened to us at three different DIY warehouses, so if you are buying plywood in a nonstandard size, check that it rang up properly before leaving the store.

Having successfully monopolized the customer service desk, I returned home and cut down the OSB with a circular saw, then dropped the piece into the box. Then, there was some incredibly minor assembly: the bench comes with a thick tarp liner that is held in place with velcro. The finished bench is roomy — big enough to hold an enclosed litter box and spare litter.

cat box collage

Inside dimensions are 22.5 inches across by 36.5 inches wide by 18 inches deep.

The new bottom keeps everything square, and the cats think the whole thing is magical and exciting to the nth degree. We set it up in a corner on the porch.

Snuggled behind the porch swing.

Snuggled behind the porch swing.

They don't like it at all.

They don’t like it at all.

It’s a nice height for the cats to lounge on the top while looking out the window, and of course they love kneading on the carpet. Result!

Happy dance!

Paul performs a celebratory dance.

Thanks, Paul and Anne! We wish you all the best. And y’all come back now, you hear?

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