What to do with an empty cable spool? If you're a student it's a cheap end table. If you're a cat lover, it's the foundation for an awesome cat hide away.
Dnny posted his spool-turned-cat-cave to the Make magazine Flickr pool, and his cats look quite pleased with the affair. The build is very straight forward: cut the hole in the spool large enough to accommodate your cats, carpet the top to give them a comfy surface to lounge on, and stuff the spool with their favourite bedding for a cozy hide away. A commenter on Flickr had an excellent suggestion we'd love to see implemented, using a little extra lumber to turn the sides of the spool into a bookcase.
If the idea of having an empty cable spool in your house, no matter how well painted or adorned, doesn't sit well with your inner interior designer the idea could easily be adapted to other items. Wooden storage cubes or lidded rattan baskets seem like strong candidates for modification into kitty lairs.