Guest Star: Ripley & Rico – Why the empty shelves?

It was over three years ago that we thought we were getting two cats, what actually happened was that two kittens moved in and got two humans to tend to their every whim.

sleeping on chair 2

Rico and Ripley litter mates, brother and sister, little hurricanes of joy! They ran around, ate and slept a lot and every day they seemed to able climb something new, jump up somewhere they had not been able to, if sometimes a little clumsy, they were already showing their amazing agility. Rico and Ripley look alike but their personalities are very different, Ripley is shy, scared of strangers and quite lazy, Rico on the other hand is bold, interested in every new person (even seems to enjoy visits to the vet!) and active, but Rico seemed a little too relaxed about some things; like sleeping while I hoovered and he would not even flinch at loud noises that sent Ripley under the bed. We soon realised that Rico is deaf.  At this point we made the decision to keep Rico and Ripley as indoor only cats.

on floor

We knew keeping them inside would keep them safe but would it keep them happy? We had already seen they didn’t treat the floor as we do, as well the floor, they traversed different levels, as they grew older moving fluidly and gracefully from chair to table to floor, but we didn’t think our furniture was enough for them and this is why the empty shelves, our way of ensuring that Rico and Ripley would be able to behave in the way they needed to, by climbing, scratching, surveying their territory and living the vertical life.

looking down 2

They have both grown a lot and so have their structures Ripley who still has a healthy distrust of the hoover will make her way up to the top level of shelves confident that the hoover cannot get her there. They still play fight but now they race up and down their shelves, in the winter they sleep up in their aerial hideaway where the heat collects, they stretch and scratch on the sisal rope covered climbing platforms and sit or lay down and keeping an eye on everything.

rico sitting ripley laying 2

Oh and sometimes they sleep up there!

ripley sleeping 2

Because of the benefits we have seen in our own cats, we decided to create Happy Cat Shelves, our business where we built cat shelves in people’s homes so their cats can satisfy their needs for vertical living.

Find out more about Happy Cat Shelves at

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12 thoughts on “Guest Star: Ripley & Rico – Why the empty shelves?

  1. LydiaA1614 says:

    I had an all white cat who also was deaf. I have read it can be common. He got along quite well but also was an indoor cat. I love your shelves. I want to put some in our new home when we move for our little Monkey. Too bad you are in the UK and we are in Canada!

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