New York City dwellers, especially Manhattanites, can spend their lives fretting about outdoor space. A Juliet balcony you can just lean out on and get a breath of fresh air? Priceless. A terrace with room for a grill and some chairs? Simply divine. An entire spacious backyard? Fuck you, asshole. Do you want to die today?
You'd think that once a person obtained even a shred of outdoor space, they'd be completely unwilling to give any of it up — but you'd be wrong. Some New Yorkers are giving up their precious patio space to the one set of roommates who are guaranteed to be the least grateful: cats.
According to the Times, all around us there are catios being built. (Yes, that's right, there's an abbreviation for "cat patio.") And it's not just a thing the paper made up, like a "man date" or hipsters drinking out of coconuts. It's a real trend of people building elaborate outdoor enclosures for their feline friends. There are even whole blogs devoted to pictures of catios. Some people, like Park Slope's Rose-Marie Whitelaw, give up their entire outdoor space (in her case, a ten-by-twenty-foot deck) to their cats, with pipes, chicken wire, and "deer fencing." (The installation involved a blowtorch.) Manufacturers of catios have even been sending some to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan!
Seriously, don't make fun. You think Mrs. Furrybottom knows what an IED looks like? That's an animal that tried to eat your micro-suede couch. These are necessary devices, people.