That's right, we nearly overlooked the single most important new house feature: cat access. Luckily, Cary realized our folly in time, before we went too far with the siding or got into the sheetrock. Whew! Otherwise, we'd be pathetic door-opening slaves (and not particularly well-trained ones) for the rest of our lives, and nobody, human or feline, wants that.
Instead of putting a cat door in the human door, we're going to put it through the wall of the mudroom/front entryway. It will look nicer, cut down on the cat-darting-underfoot factor, and allow for better insulation than a door-mount. We haven't completely decided what brand we'll use, but we're leaning towards using the small Hale brand one. It seems to have the best insulation and general sturdiness of all the ones I've looked at so far.
Currently, two of our three cats enjoy free access to the outdoors via a ramp that Cary built for them which runs from the balcony of our apartment out into a maple tree. From there they can climb down a leaning tree to another board which takes them to the ground. Here's Sprout enjoying the view:
Unfortunatly Iggy can't use this ramp, since he only has three legs. So he has to ask us to open the door when he wants to go outside, and then back inside, and then outside again... We're all pretty excited about having a house with a cat door directly to the outside that ALL our cats will be able to use.