If you're looking for something to do this weekend, consider this PIR (passive infrared) sensor alarm project. Not only will the motion-sensing alarm protect your gear from animals and zombies alike, the project can help you get started with Arduino.
As the video above shows, there are few components actually needed to create the basic alarm, and there's no soldering involved. In addition to the simple instructions in the video, Make also provides the software program, so you have everything you need to know to get this project completed.
The alarm would be a great tool for cat-proofing your workspace.