I'm a big proponent of rescue pets, but very few people go as far for them as Peter Cohen has: Over the past several decades, he's transformed his Goleta, California house into a veritable rescue cat playground. You guys? I want to go there. Wait, no — I want to live there. Do you think Cohen and the house's other occupants, Hiroyuki Furumoto and Manuel Flores, would hire me as a full-time, live-in cat sitter? No? What if I asked nicely?
Houzz recently profiled the house, its cats, and its owners; they also shot some terrific footage of the kitties in their natural habitat, which resulted in what may just be the greatest cat video I've ever seen. Cohen says that when he bought the house in 1988, there were two strays living outside around the property. Sadly, both of them were later hit by cars: One of them survived after a lot of surgery and a lengthy stay at an animal hospital, but the other one wasn't so lucky. After that experience, he took took the surviving cat in; he also went down to his local shelter and adopted a few more so she'd have some feline friends to keep her company. Currently, there are 15 cats living in this kitty wonderland, many of which have been named after food items: Cheesecake, Chocolate, Nutter, Butter, Wasabi, Donut, and so on. And yes, they are all absolutely adorable.
Cohen, who is a home-builder and co-owner of Trillium Enterprises, says he built the first catwalk in 1995, and the rest just sort of spiraled out from there. They're not just for the cats, though; they're also visually interesting for the humans, adding unexpected architectural elements and delightful pops of color all over the house. There are ramps and paths up and down the walls:
Strategically placed scratching posts:
Little tunnels in the walls for them to explore:
Baskets for them to hide in:
And even a pond full of koi for them to watch (none of them have actually tried to catch or eat the fish, so don't worry — everyone's safe):
And in case you curious about the cleanup situation, the litter boxes are all hidden away in custom-built closets with ventilator fans running 24/7, and five Roombas run continuously to pick up cat hair and the like. The human areas of the house are pretty snazzy, too, by the way; check out the living room:
The cats kind of have the run of the place — as Manuel Flores puts it in the Houzz video, "This is their house, and we're living here with them," which sounds about right to me (as far as most cats go, everything is theirs and you're just borrowing it because they're nice enough to let you do so) — but none of the house's occupants would have it any other way. It's a totally unique living situation, even if it has cost somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000 to build over the years — and nothing makes you feel better about a bad day than having a purring cat hop up on your lap and give you all the love and affection in the world.
Watch the full video below. It is the best. I promise.