Series of plans gone wrong inspires 'Sgt. Pepper's Catio' in Sidney, B.C.
Before you can appreciate how meaningful it is for Brynne to have "Sgt. Pepper's Catio" attached to her home, you should know she's a prolific planner.
“I like to plan!” Brynne smiles, showing how she maps out a weeks' worth of meals on a spreadsheet.
“There’s nothing wrong with planning!”
Not until plans go wrong. Like during the pandemic, when Brynne dealt with a series of things that didn’t go according to plan.
First, Brynne and her husband had to cancel their plans for a 100-person church wedding and replace it with a dozen people waving along the street during a drive-by. Then, Brynne quit nursing school after realizing she wasn’t cut out for the career she had planned. There was also the rescue cat they adopted and planned to name after Iron Man’s girlfriend.
“When we picked the cat up (from the vet) we were told Pepper Potts was a mister,” Brynne laughs.
They named the grey cat Sgt. Pepper instead, before realizing how lonely his heart seemed being stuck inside.
“If there’s a problem I can’t solve, I’ll think about it before I fall asleep,” Brynne says. “When I wake up, it’s like, 'This is how I’m going to do it.'”
But this was a first: waking up and being able to draw fully formed, detailed plans for an enclosed patio, so the cat could safely experience being outside.
“I think I’m pretty handy,” Brynne says, showing how she constructed the "catio."
“I get that from my mom.”
Brynne’s mom was a teacher before an unexpected renovation inside Brynne’s childhood home made her change her career plans and become an architectural drafter.
Now — thanks to the catio, followed by other, more-substantial projects — Brynne is following in her mom’s professional footsteps.
“It felt like a full circle moment,” Brynne says, describing how when she was a child she used to watch her mom work in her home office.
“Because this is the house I grew up in.”
This was another major unplanned pandemic event. Brynne and her husband had planned to stay in their apartment until there was a need for more space. But when Brynne happened to see that the house her parents once owned was available for rent, it felt meant to be. So they made an unplanned move.
“This was her office. And now it’s mine,” Brynne smiles, showing pictures of her mom working at her computer, followed by her doing the same.
“I say she built it for me, just really way in advance!”
To recap: Although Brynne didn’t realized her plan to become a nurse, she did meet her husband at the school. Although they didn’t have a big wedding, the intimate one ended up feeling even better than they planned. Although they didn’t plan to move, they found a house that already felt like home. Although didn’t plan to adopt a bold, male cat, Sgt, Pepper’s demands to be outdoors inspired Brynne to create a catio, which led to the realization of a truly satisfying career.
Even though nothing went to plan, Brynne says she couldn’t have planned it better.
“You can have the best intentions, and the best laid plans,” Brynne smiles. “But sometimes there’s something even better that you couldn’t have imagined.”
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