I have a rather large Bengal cat named Teddy. Ted is a housecat and it's all he's ever known but recently I've been toying with the idea of letting him outside into my garden. That being said, I didn't want him to be able to get out of the garden because I live right next to a main road, a forest, and in a bit of a dodgy area (there are always stories of cats being abused in my area and I would never forgive myself).
Look how sassy he is... #smize
I did a bit of Googling and stumbled upon a company called Katzecure who specialise in "Cat Containment Systems". Essentially, what they do is install poles around the top of your garden perimeter. These poles roll and so the cat can't get enough purchase to scramble up and over the wall into freedom.
It looked amazing, and was much more aesthetically pleasing than some of those cat-wire systems you see. I submitted an enquiry via their website on April 13th and waited for somebody to get in touch to book a consultation. I got an automatic response from them with some info and a few videos which was useful. It was however 8 days before they were able to get back to me to confirm that they could attend my property on the 27th leaving me little time to arrange to work from home.
The owner of Katzecure turned up at my property (15 minutes late) on the Monday as planned. He came through to my garden to 'measure up' which involved no actual measuring device but was rather done by eye which is totally fine; I assumed his system worked 'per fence panel' perhaps rather than by metric.
He came in to my living room and sat with his PC open on the pricing page from the website (http://www.katzecure.com/prices/) which I thought was strange. Then he asked me how much I thought it was going to cost. I said that I didn't want to have a go at guessing and asked him to price up the full system with installation. He gave me a figure of £1790.
Now, bear in mind my garden is small. Like, typical end of terrace small. Its 5 fence panels by around 3, if I parked my car in my garden I would have about a foot around the edge of it left to walk around in. I was completely blown away, which I explained to the owner. He replied with "Yes, that does seem like a lot of money doesn't it, considering how small the garden is".
It was probably the most bizarre exchange I've ever had with a business owner. He even had the audacity to ask me whether I worked for the tax office. He completely talked me out of the sale and said that it was a very expensive system. When I asked him for a price for the parts alone he said he could provide them for £650 if I paid him cash in hand. He was clearly just pulling figures from the air. I asked him how much the installation was and he said that it was around £700. I'm no mathematician, but £1790 minus £650 for parts and £700 for installation leaves £450. When I asked him what the remaining £450 was going to be spent on he said he didn't know, that his 'system must be down' and that he would get back to me with a formal quote that day. It arrived 3 days later and to my surprise (NOT) it was completely different to any of the prices he provided me with on the day. This magical and assumedly completely fabricated price came to £1122.75 for parts with no installation.
To be honest I was completely exasperated by this point. The owner didn't make one single enquiry about my cat. I told him that it was a Bengal (notorious for being nifty climbers). He didn't ask me what I wanted from the system, whether I was planning to make any changes to the garden, how big my cat was or whether he had experienced outdoor life before. To be honest I can see why he wouldn't ask those questions, he is there to do a job and doesn't necessarily need to care about the welfare of the animals. The fact that he refused to offer any insurance on his Single Pole system shows that he doesn't trust in it's ability to contain my animal which further implies his lack of concern for the animals he is building the system for. I do however think it makes sense to at least pretend to give a crap when your customers are paying you so much to protect something that they love dearly.
The first quote I was sent was for a Double Pole system, his more premium product. I had asked for a Single Pole system and completely disregarded it, asking to be sent the quote I had requested. Looking at this price in hindsight, Katzecure somehow priced up this system for £1054 plus £105 for 'Trellis Infills' which is actually only £30 more for what is essentially twice the wood and parts.
Obviously, I decided not to go ahead with the project. I will happily spend hours trawling the net for comparative systems even if they cost more than Katzecure purely because I want to work with a company who understands their cost price, their sell price, the way in which the owners should be handled and who also care about my cat.
If anybody knows of any alternative systems or companies please do let me know in the comment section below or contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org