Arts and Entertainment

A new kind of catwalk

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Sequim Gazette

Dave and Connie Holtz normally design and build things for Disney but it seems they’ve found a new pet project.


The Holtzes, who moved to Sequim from the Bay Area, recently completed three cedar cat gyms to go on the back patios at the Peninsula Friends of Animals’ Safe Haven animal shelter. The gyms have ramps for the cats to walk up and down and small structures on top for them to play in and around.


“If I had the lumber, I’d build 10,” Dave Holtz said.


The cedar wood of the cat gyms smelled as if it just had been hewn and Dave Holtz said it should stay that way.


“Cedar lasts forever,” he said.


Connie Holtz first came to the shelter to pick up a doll to be raffled through the Olympic Peninsula Doll Club, of which she is a member.


“They loved the shelter and Dave immediately offered to build and donate these kitty gyms as well as help out with other things,” PFOA board president Diane Lopez said.


The shelter houses anywhere from 30-50 cats and now a handful of them can play outside on the gyms. The Holtzes said they are committed to building more if supplies come through.


Patty and Gary Winnop, owners of Winnop Excavating, donated the first round of cedar, Dave Holtz said.

Each gym takes about 40 hours to make, Connie Holtz said. The gyms are a change from the interior and set design the couple is used to.


Connie Holtz said they design the interiors of the buildings on Main Street for Disney at the entertainment giant’s foreign parks. Using their building expertise, they designed a special, lower gym for the overweight cats to encourage them to get more exercise.


So far, the cats seem to enjoy the gyms, volunteers said.


To find out more about the shelter or to donate supplies, call the PFOA at 452-0414.


Reach Amanda Winters at



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