Saturday, September 5, 2009

The New Gate

The pet gate that I installed across the stairs to keep Ray away from the cats hadn't been working out so well. It was difficult to open and a pain to use, so Gregg had taken to climbing over it using the railings as leverage. He viewed it as a form of exercise. My legs weren't long enough to use his technique so I just tried to avoid going upstairs. 
Last week, I decided I'd had enough.
Last year at an estate sale, I had purchased a see-through "room divider" (dirt cheap) that was made out of black-painted steel. It was 4 panels wide and I thought it would be good in a garden for vines to climb. Turns out two panels were enough for the vines, so I had two left. I measured the panels and found that they would be a perfect fit across the stairs (what are the odds?). The only problem was they were six feet tall. There was enough room for them height-wise, but six feet was a bit over-the-top, so I started looking on craigslist for a welder that could modify it.
After a couple of looks I found just what I had been looking for. A hobbyist welder who was interested in small jobs. Brian came over on Friday to check out the job, measure, and pick up the two panels. By Monday evening (or maybe Tuesday) Brian was back with the reconfigured gate to install it. He did a great job at a really reasonable price.
All night long, every time Gregg would swing open the gate to go up the stairs he would say, "this gate is great." The next day "this gate changed my life." After almost 3 months of wrestling with a pet gate to get upstairs, I understood how he felt.
(Hugo demonstrating
the cat escape-hatch)


  1. I don't remember seeing these...are they still in situ? Really nice upcycling :-)

    1. I removed them last year. Ray had figured out how to open them and now that the cats are used to him (well kinda), I figured what was the point in keeping them (except that they did look nice. )