Fur real: Minnesota man turns home into cat playland


For nearly 20 years, a St. James, Minnesota, man has been turning his home into a sort of cat amusement park.

The story of Greg Krueger and his fur kids has been told by various media outlets over the years, and most recently WCCO featured Kruger on its "Finding Minnesota" segment.

He's spent over $10,000 to turn his home into a playland for his cats, Catsparella says. There are over 100 yards of catwalks, tunnels, platforms and cutouts in the walls for his cats to jump, climb and play on.

"I just love trails and paths, and cats, of course," Krueger told WCCO. "And so I've just linked those passions together."

Krueger has posted photos on Flickr, check them out here. His home was also featured on Animal Planet's "Must Love Cats."

This home renovation started years ago after he made a place for his cats to sit on top of a China cabinet because they liked to be up high. Then he built a kitty-sized staircase for them to get up there, the Mankato Free Press reported in 2008.

Next he added bridges and catwalks. He made 38 hand-carved cat openings – one in the shape of Minnesota (pictured below), a heart, Charlie Brown's head and a stop sign, among other shapes – in the walls so the cats can get from room to room without jumping down, the newspaper said.

The catwalks are lined with a detailed railing so the animals won't fall off. Beds are placed strategically throughout the house for the cats to take a snooze or lounge and look out the window. And rope lights run throughout the maze of cutouts, bridges and catwalks.

Outside, there's a kennel for the cats, the planters are filled with catnip, and nearby, are well-stocked bird feeders for feline entertainment.

Krueger has been called "a master woodworker" and his home is described as meticulous, beautiful and detailed, the Mankato Free Press says.

It's like a puzzle – he's never quite finished and he's always thinking about it. Krueger told WCCO his obsession started making sense last fall when the 49-year-old was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, which is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). One feature of ASD is fixated interests, according to the National Institute of Health.

"Obviously, my house would not be like this if I didn't have Asperger's," Krueger told WCCO. "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."

He can relate to the cats and he thinks that's why he has connected with them so well.

"It's been said that all cats have Asperger's syndrome, so I think that might be one reason why I really love cats – I kind of think that I can understand their personality really well," Krueger told WCCO.

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