Let me just start by explaining that I am terribly allergic to cats and dogs. My family always had pets growing up and when I moved out, I was ecstatic in that it would finally be the end of any stuffy nose or blotchy skin. This new pet-less life worked out pretty well for me until I met my girlfriend Megan. Turns out, she is an obsessive cat lover. She worked on me for a while with her puppy dog eyes and I eventually gave in and we got our cat Ickle.

When we brought him home, we started looking online for the perfect cat furniture to outfit our home with for our new addition. We were quite discouraged by how all the cat trees out there looked really generic. The two of us decided to build something unique for him and with no prior woodworking experience (not even 8th-grade woodshop), we hand-built him his very own Indiana Jones-styled cat bridge. As you can tell from the photos, he dug it.

Of course, after we built the bridge, we needed steps up and down on both sides, so we started experimenting with different shelving designs and mounting techniques. We ended up building Ickle a fantastical cat wall and he absolutely loved it. He ended up enjoying the bridge so much that we decided to start building them out of our third story apartment part-time and selling them on Etsy. We received an incredible response from our Etsy customers and have since improved upon our original ideas and expanded our furniture line quite a bit. We’ve continued focusing on unconventional cat furniture ideas and in four years have turned our side project into a really cool business.

Although I never knew this was my dream, and often wake up at night sneezing, I love our three cats dearly and would’ve never had the opportunity to be doing what I love for a living without them.

More info: catastrophicreations.com