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Purr-fect project earns Eagle Scout honor

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From page B7 | January 25, 2013 | Leave Comment

DSC_5832e

EAGLE SCOUT William Austin holds Robin, a 4 year old mix next to a cat tree he built as part of his Eagle Scout project at the El Dorado Humane Society in Diamond Springs. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

William Austin has two cats, Tiger and Laverne.

Tiger was named because, according to Austin, she looks like a tiger. Laverne earned her name from the popular 1970s TV show “Laverne and Shirley” that his parents, Paul and Linda, watched growing up.

The two felines have their own cat trees at the family’s El Dorado Hills home. According to Austin, the cat trees are commonly known as cat condos.

Having two cats gave Austin, a member of Boy Scout Troop 454 in El Dorado Hills, a purr-fect project to earn his Eagle Scout badge.

Elvis Mc Can, the troop’s scout master, suggested the idea to Austin to build a cat tree and donate it to the El Dorado County Humane Society in Diamond Springs. Austin was so enthusiastic about the project that he built four cat trees.

The first step toward the project for Austin was going online to see how cat trees are built. He downloaded the information and showed it to the board members of the humane society who gave its approval.

“We started building them from there,” Austin said.

The first tree, along with the subsequent trees, stands approximately 6 feet in height and 3 feet across. At the bottom of each tree are two shelves, or cubby holes, with a tube in the middle for cats to nap or play. There is a perch on top that serves as another play or rest area for the felines.

The first cat tree was completed in 10 days, spending an average of six hours a day, Austin said. Then the other three cat trees were built simultaneously and in lesser time. He had two teams of two people help in building the feline trees.

Today, the cat trees are in four separate rooms inside the society’s building, 777 Pleasant Valley Road in Diamond Springs.

Austin purchased the materials at county lumber stores.

The Eagle Scout raised approximately $1,115 to build the cat trees. Most of the donations came from veterinarians in El Dorado County. The rest of the money was donations from family and friends.

According to its Website, the Boy Scouts’ Eagle Scout Award was established in 1969 to acknowledge Eagle Scouts who have distinguished themselves on a national level, receiving recognition or eminence within their field and who have a strong record of voluntary service to their community.

The Eagle Scout badge is the highest award available to Boy Scouts that is presented through the local council and a local court of honor.

Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or mbush@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter. 

Mike Bush

Mike Bush has been a Staff Writer at the Mountain Democrat since August 2011. Follow him on Twitter @MBushMtDemo
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