One of the reasons I liked this house so much was the open lofted architecture. Unfortunately, I now have two populations of cats I cannot allow to mix. Gonzo has already once squeezed between the banisters (balusters? whatever) and then fallen downstairs, and within days he had fully mastered the art of waiting until I wasn't looking, clambering from the couch onto the top of the rail, and trotting its length to the stairs, thereby handily avoiding my blockades and getting downstairs.
So I had to devise a way to keep them all from getting downstairs. For now, I've tethered window screens in place -- four upright to keep the adventurous young man off the rail, one on its side to block the remaining upright post thingys, and one more on its side to block the stairs themselves. With a sweater hanging on the corner post thingy to provide weight against the meeting point of those last two, I can even slide the one blocking the stairs aside to pass through, or to let the downstairs cats upstairs when the other cats are shut into my room.
The cats have batted at the screens a few times, and Gonzo has eyed the unblocked section of railing, but my warnings have so far been sufficient. Chess came up the stairs, continued along the outside edge of the loft, and then overbalanced and fell, but she landed on her feet (if with a mighty thump) and she hasn't tried that again. Success!
Until spring, anyway.
In the meantime: more cat photos!
Winry is the one on the left. The one with the terrible haircut/poodle-cut. Gonzo is the one on the right. The one with the freakish double-claw.