ST. JAMES, MN – People build bird houses, swing sets, tree houses and even skating rinks for their kids…
But a Minnesota man has created an indoor fun house just for cats.
“That goes to the basement, that goes to a closet. Charlie Brown goes from the closet to the stairway” Greg Kruegar said.
If cats were in charge, there’d be more homes laid out like this.
“They’re fun to watch, they’re very agile” Kruegar said. “I just love trails and paths…and cats of course and so I’ve just linked those passions together.”
Krueger’s four cats get to look down on their owner for nearly 100 yards of overhead catwalks. They can also scamper away to their choice of hideouts. All with proper lighting and padding.
“To me it feels like we’re a family living here. ain’t that right Winny, huh? Are we like a family?” said Kruegar.
Krueger’s been at it for more than fifteen years carving through his walls to create elaborate passageways.
“This one’s supposed to be a cat so it’s like a cat that I’m looking through and you’re looking at a blue jay so it’s like a looking at a blue jay,” said Kruegar.
It’s like a puzzle he says that he never quite finishes
I think about it constantly, I can’t fall asleep,” Kruegar said. “I’m still thinking about it, thinking about the design. I wake up, I’m thinking about it. I’m thinking about it all day at work.”
It’s an obsession that started making sense last fall when he saw a doctor.
“Cause I have Asperger’s Syndrome I’m probably not the best at socializing,” said Kruegar.
Finally diagnosed with Asperger syndrome at the age of 49, Krueger considers his form of autism to be a blessing that gives him great focus.
“Obviously, my house would not be like this if I didn’t have Aspergers,” he said.
If it takes a long time, I don’t care because if I like what I’m doing, I almost don’t want to finish what I’m doing.” said Kruegar.
He’s doing it for those who’ve always seemed to understand him; from the time he was a boy.
“Everyday I touch every one of their grave markers, I have to it brings me good luck,” Kruegar said. “It’s been said that all cats have Asperger Syndrome so I think that might be one reason why I really love cats is that I kind of think that I can understand their personality really well.”
Others may see them as different, even distant, but Greg Krueger and his cats have a closeness that works.
“I don’t feel like I live alone, even though I’m the only person living here, we’re like a family,” Kruegar said.