Homemade quad cart for a severely disabled cat
Ari has very severe Cerebellar Hypoplasia, which is critter cerebral palsy. She has poor balance, coordination, and body control, and she does nothing I would really call walking on her own, although she gets around. To help her, I decided to build her a quad (4-wheeled) cart, keeping in mind her disabilities.
I decided to go with 1/2 inch PVC--lightweight, cheap, and easy to use. The fittings are cheap, too (about a quarter), so I got a couple extra for foul-ups(which there were!). I used simple Ts and elbows to avoid having to use 3-way connectors, which were extremely difficult to find.
I used the wheels from a stroller for the front, leaving them as duallies for support. The rear wheels of that stroller couldn't be parted from the stroller frame, so I bought the little ones at Lowe's. It was a higher-end Graco stroller, and the wheels weren't intended, they told me, to be parted from the frame. They succeeded! I couldn't even drill them out, so pick your stroller carefully!
Gluing those T- joints at the proper angle was, in fact, the hardest part of putting the cart together!
This is Ari and the rough draft of the cart. I wanted it to be cheerful, so I painted it blazing yellow with special PVC spray paint I got at Lowe's!
Keeping Ari IN her cart turned out to be a bigger problem than I thought; I had 2-inch, rainbow, side-release straps custom-made by Strapworks, http://www.strapworks.com/ (also a VERY nifty place to hang out, by the way), which she hated when they were used alone. She just turned to water and poured between them!! The next try was to have a homeless friend of ours crochet a hammock, made the same way as the bottom of the carrier she made us.
I need to get a pic of Ari in her cart, but it's just been too cold for her to leave her bed that long (I think her temperature control was nuked along with the motor control). If you'd like a carrier or a hammock of your own, you can contact me at specialcritters<at>hotmail.com for arrangements and prices.
If I make another cart sometime, I'll raise the front bar so that it's like an upside-down "U" so her vision won't be obstructed by it. Otherwise, I think it's a good fit for her.
Special thanks to Donna for her help sizing the pictures!!