The Cross House
A year ago I did a post about creating outdoor “rooms”.
Because the yard of the Cross House is minuscule, and because the house abuts a four-lane highway, creating a series of enclosed “rooms” is a really good way of mitigating both these issues.
I learned long ago that if one can see an entire yard at a glance, it will seem smaller than if one can only see bits at a time. Thus, by creating enclosed “rooms” one can walk from room to room to room and develop the sense that the yard is large.
Creating enclosed rooms will also help mitigate the noise from the highway, something I plan to further offset with a large waterfall.
While creating rooms will make the yard seem much larger than it is, and will mitigate sound, it will also, vitally, keep my cats safe inside the rooms.
- East Room. Currently a dusty parking lot.
- Corner Room. Currently a dusty parking lot.
- North Room. Currently a patch of lawn. Next to Highway 50.
- Zig-Zag Room.
- Fence around AC condensers.
- Fence around garden equipment.
In 2017, at vast expense, I had eight-foot-high 6×6 posts installed to create rooms #4, #5, and #6. This year, I wrapped brown tarp around #5 to hide the AC condensers (people steal AC condensers).
And this is how things have sat.
The idea is that I would have more posts installed but there just hasn’t been the money.
Since buying the house in 2014, I have all along envisioned the fencing material as some sort of translucent plastic (cats cannot climb plastic). I had planned to place the plastic panels on both the inner and outer faces of the fencing post, and then install strips of LED lights inside the void so that the whole fence would gently glow at night.
I love loved loved this idea.
Note the past tense?
Because…I have been forced to abandon this idea.
After a two-year search, I finally found the perfect translucent plastic, which was a color which really complemented the house.
Then it developed that I would have to drive to California to get it.
So the search began again. And at this point I basically give up. Which is really unlike me. But knocking my head against a brick wall does sometimes make me wonder about being too stubborn.
Another issue was financial. All my available funds are earmarked for the massive south facade restoration, which is part of the 2017 Heritage Trust Grant work. Fencing, thus, is not critical even though the lack of a cat fence is now the only reason stopping me from moving in.
During the last few weeks however, cats across the land have been sending in money for the cat fence which I estimate at $8,000. About 30% has so far come in! Zounds! (I will be doing another update in a few days.)
With these miracle funds on hand, I am ready to place an order for some of the fencing material!!!!!!!!
And I have decided to do what I can do. I can easily order solid metal panels, the type normally used for roofing and to build all-metal buildings commonly seen on farms.
The metal panels are ribbed, and I will install them horizontally so that they pick up the horizontal siding of the siding on the house.
NOTE: I cannot do a wood fence. Cats can climb wood. And nor am I interested in an elaborate iron fence of a type which might have been installed in 1894; I cannot possibly afford this, it will do nothing to mitigate the sound from the highway, and it will offer zero privacy. Nor can I possibly afford a stone fence (which cats could climb).
There are enough miracle funds now on hand to order metal panels for the two small rooms, #5 and #6, #4, and for a portion of room #1. With #1 eventually finished, I could move into the Cross House with kitties in tow, and could later build room #2. I have decided to forgo fencing room #3 with metal and will instead plant an evergreen hedge. But, obviously, the cats will never be allowed in this room.
The finished fencing will be quite crisp looking, and I also expect it to look…mysterious. The fence height is 8-feet, which is two-feet higher than normally allowed but the city gave me special dispensation. The color, too, is unusual. And I have never seen anybody create a fence out of solid metal panels. I expect the finished fencing to have a Richard Serra quality.
The entire Cross House is currently highly visible to anybody driving or walking past. This though offers the owner zero privacy. Being anywhere in the yard is like being on stage. With the fences in the rear yard however, the lower part of the house will become invisible to the public. But, the house is so large that more than enough of the Cross House will still be on display.
If your kitties would like to help Fence the Cats, their paws can click on the Go Fund Me button just above the comments, or they can mail a check to:
Fence the Cats!
Strong City, KS 66869
(The check should be made out to Ross)