Sicy, we had four cats. Well - it started with one. A mom had kittens in a burrow out back in the woods. There were five. We didn't know it then, but she would take them on excursions... only on the 4th of July last year, they all disappeared except for Lazlo (as we ended up naming him). After his crying for two days (despite our feeding him), we decided to bring him inside as a pet. I was insanely allergic to cats, and Gary used to hate them. But he wiggled his way into our hearts (we'd been caring for them outside for about a month already).
So we decided to "grab" another one as a friend for him. That was Sheldon, Gary's boy.
We then started trapping and having spayed/neutered all the cats around here, and ended up building a feeder, etc. We worked on getting the other kittens adopted out. Another littler of three kittens turned up, and Tuxedo (at the time, still outside) almost killed little Munchkin. So we brought her in - she was too small to survive what was by then the incredible cold of last year. We built heated condos for all the outside kittens. Julius and Spooky went to what turned out to be a terrible home. That was before we had a screening process in place. We took the cats back, and Spooky became part of the family, right after we adopted out Munchkin. (SEE? We are CAPABLE of fostering, LOL!).
Julius got adopted by one of the Vet assistants who fell in love with him. He was a HUGE ginger and white kitty with very faint tabby markings.
We ended up putting Tuxedo, Thanksgiving and Magic in boarding - it had just been too cold for too long, and every time they heard our door open, they'd come running out. It was a terrible winter here, and we just couldn't live with the guilt. (All the no-kill shelters are always full around here).
We ended up finding homes for Thanksgiving and Magic. And Tuxedo had bonded with Gary, he was always very aggressive, and though at the boarding facility he got somewhat socialized, he also ended up getting very, very ill. We took him to our vet, and once he was no longer ill, he wouldn't eat. They told us we'd have to bring him home. So Gary nursed him back, and he's part of the family now.
Four just seemed - a little too much, though. Lazlo, Spooky and Shelly all got along just fine. I don't know if it's because of the space or because Tuxedo is kind of mean and aggressive, but he's frequently after Spooky, although she only seems to mind when it's happening.
We have created as much vertical space as we can. Our bedside tables are cat beds. We put in a bookshelf along Gary's side of the bed that is for the cats. On my side, we purchased tubes from Walmart (thick cardboard construction tubes). Two of them are on the floor next to each other, with space enough at either end for the cats to get in and out. On top of that is a store-bought tube lined inside with fake wool - on either side of it on top of the other tubes are platforms for them to walk on. On top of that we've placed a kind of hard pillow and cat bed - that's at our bed level. So that's three levels high. We removed everything from the overhead cabinets over the bed - the cats can easily jump in and out ('cept little MaeMae
We took out the dining room and put in cat furniture. We did leave the bookshelves - though now they're devoted mostly to our cereal, cat food, cat brushes, lint rollers - stuff like that.
. So that's across from the kitchen counter.
You can see the back of the couch - it fits four cats.
The top of the printer (which is snuggled inbetween the dashboard and the driver's chair) has a cat bed on top of it, and they can walk across all the crap we have stored up on the dash.
We have two litterboxes - one under the dash in front of the driver's chair and one in front of the passenger chair. There just isn't anywhere else to put them! ('cept little MaeMae's. Her teeny box is in the bathroom, although if she's going to live here, when she grows out of it, the five of them will just have to share the two boxes.
So.. they have under Gary's chair, the end of the bookshelf next to the front door, all the floor... and we're working on emptying out the overhead cabinets next to where their cat furniture is. That'd open up another 6 or 7 sq. ft. of space for them.
It's tight - but it works.... so far! I'm not too sure how it'd work if we keep MaeMae and she turns out to be a honker!