Thursday, September 20, 2007

Cats Harbor Secret Plan to Turn Us Into Litter-Scooping Robots

I found this at Wired. I figured I'd post it because I know at least one reader of this blog who is already completely owned by her cats. She works for them.

One of my cats -- the one that has not yet appeared on I Can Has Cheezburger -- has developed an elaborate routine for getting me up to feed him in the morning. It involves a lot of meowing, jumping on things, knocking things over, and the occasional loud coughing up of hairballs. I can't prove that last bit is intentional, but I'm pretty sure it is.

If I had a real job I wouldn't have to set an alarm clock, but as it is I feel that this is a problem that I must solve, as I solve all my problems, with technology.

The technology in this case is an automatic cat feeder. Most of the automatic feeders on Amazon come with reviews detailing how the cats have managed to work around the DRM (dinner rights management) built into them.

No matter what lies between them and kibble, the cats manage to prod, pull and shove their way to an extra serving. I'm buying one anyway, because I have a Dremel tool, and somehow that convinces me that I can re-engineer the thing to outsmart the one primal urge a cat has left after being sterilized.

I already have an automatic water dispenser for the cats, and I'm thoughtfully eyeing one of those elaborate automatic self-cleaning litter boxes that scoops, flushes and sprays its interior with the delicate scent of live mice, the better to make it not just a litter box, but a space to exist. It occurs to me that with the proper application of money and floor space, you can get machines to take on most of the duties incumbent upon the cat owner.

For instance, any number of electronic cat toys will whip a fuzzy thing around so you can watch Best Week Ever without having to move any part of your body. Better yet, they make actual electronic mice. When I get that time machine working, I'm going to go back to colonial times and explain to a farmer that in the future, we go to the store and buy artificial vermin. I'm sure he'll enjoy thinking about that when he's not busy watching locusts eat his crops or burying his children.

Read the rest of the article.

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