A Sliding Door #1: The dog and the cat

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Blog entry by Mark Kornell posted 11-01-2014 08:06 AM 1611 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of A Sliding Door series Part 2: Milling maple lumber »

I need to build a door. More specifically, a sliding door, barn door style, to be located at the bottom of the staircase into the basement. You see, the dog lives downstairs and the cat lives upstairs. They really don’t like each other.

It’s more a case of the cat not liking anybody or anything. The dog is friendly and would probably be inclined to get along just fine with cats. But this cat has other ideas. Like hissing, growling (yes, cats can growl), clawing and generally going into berserker mode whenever it senses the dog. Or my electrician, but that’s another story for another blog.

Back up a few years. The cat is my daughter’s. She got it while she was still living at home with us. It was a sweet little kitten. But shortly after it got “fixed”, it became Satan’s spawn. I’d probably be really pissed, too, if something like that happened to me. But I’d find a way, eventually, to let it go and move on. I don’t think this cat is wired that way.

Anyways, the daughter finished school, moved out and took the cat with her. We had quiet at our house for a few years.

She meets a guy and it becomes a long term thing. They decide to get a dog. A Chesapeake Retriever. Big and tough dogs, but smart and generally nice dispositions. She has her place, the cat lives with her. He has his place and the dog lives with him.

You know that the dog and cat will eventually meet, right? It does not go well. Within seconds, the cat has the dog cowering in a corner. The cat is about 8 pounds. The dog is 60 or 70. The dog should simply kill the cat. If not on general principles, then for misbehaving so badly. The cat also has the boyfriend’s number, but that’s a different story.

Fast forward to last year. My wife and I are building a house. Coincidentally, boyfriend becomes fiancee. We agree to take the cat when they get married and move in together. Spawn of Satan tolerates us. As long as we feed it. I suspect that the tolerance would last about 2 hours past the usual feeding time.

Oh, wait. Didn’t I say that the dog is now living downstairs. Yeah, it came with daughter and husband. We were informed that they would be moving into the basement of our new house once they got married. And that we’d better hurry up and finish the house before the wedding. So much for our peace and quiet. They want to pay down their student loans and save up some money to put toward a house.

We finished the house and moved in mid-July. They got married and moved in a week ago.

We’re glad to help out, but the dog and cat under the same roof pose a real problem. If we can’t keep them separated, one of them will die a messy death. I kinda hope it would be the cat, but it is just evil enough that I fear for the dog. All that’s keeping the cat from committing mayhem right now is some cardboard at the bottom of the stairs held in place by a suitcase and a box

The landing at the bottom of the stairs wasn’t designed to allow for a door. Not enough room where it lands to frame in a jamb. But I can do a sliding door. Big opening, so the door will be 42” wide by almost 99” tall.

Here’s the plan:

The rails and stiles will be made from hard maple, with MDF panels. Tinted lacquer finish to match the rest of the doors in the basement.

I picked up the lumber 2 months ago, and the sliding hardware arrived today.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

1 comment so far

View doitforfun's profile


199 posts in 1629 days

#1 posted 11-08-2014 01:16 PM

Almost identical to my sliding door except for the height, which is less than 7’. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

-- Brian in Wantagh, NY

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