The invention of a house for pets is generally connected with the Renaissance, but it existed much earlier in pre-Roman times. Thus, it was utilized by Julius Caesar as the site for his pet tigers. Livius, in the 1st century BCE described Egyptian homes for pets. He wrote that these were hutches constructed upon stilts and supported by poles, “with palisade’s between, to give them protection against the violence of the rains”. Similar words were used by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History.
A similar invention was introduced by Charlemagne during the time of William the Conqueror as he returned from his victorious campaigns. It was known then as a “willli bed”, which today we would call a willibrach, or simple wooden hut. This was utilized by Charlemagne as a place for his dogs and cats to sleep. Pliny the Elder likewise referred to willow beds as “stables for pets”.
The structure was constructed from four main horizontal wood slats on which to frame the door and rear panels. The roof had a ridgepole to support the weight of the entire roof, while two side panels (a parabolic one and a curved one) separated by a square lattice were intended for supplying slanting air to the interior. These slanted panels also prevented rainwater and snow from penetrating.
Figuratively speaking, this pet house resembles a large wooden barn. But, of course, a willibrach has none of the characteristics of a barn, like hay bales or straw for barn animals or any solid, stable flooring. Its roof is hipped by sliding panels, and its rafters are made of boards arranged horizontally, while its sides and rear panels are loosely boards laid horizontally on four parallel horizontal boards. Thus, this type of willibrach was originally meant to be an open-roof structure, much like the famous Chinese compound “Shanzhai” (which literally means “plank structures”).
Another interesting characteristic of this type of house for pet is the fact that the glues used in its construction are easily available at any hardware store. Therefore, you don’t have to purchase special glues just to make this type of house for your pet. Of course, in order to save time, money, and effort when making this type of house for pets, it’s always wise to purchase ready-made glues. Such ready-made glues have strong adhesives that ensure the glue’s bond to the slats, rafters, and other parts of the wooden frame; thus, the construction is guaranteed to be stronger than conventional hand-glues.
The final component of this type of house for pets is the use of polyurethane as a medium for the glues. Polyurethane is a hard plastic polymer that is extremely durable. Moreover, it has superior adhesion properties and excellent thermal conductivity. The glue that’s used in this type of house for pet can also resist high levels of pressure, because it can bond very well with the polyurethane foam that’s applied as a layer over the wooden frame. In addition, when hot items are placed on top of the glued panels, it does not cause any damage to the glue. These various qualities make polyurethane the ideal material for use in the house for pets, regardless of what size the pet is.