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My Kitty Is The Mother Of Invention

Remember how Larry would always burst into Jack's apartment unannounced on "Three's Company"? That's what great, pet-related ideas have been doing to my head in the last week or so. Check out these two sure-fire winners:

Cat-A-Tonic 4000: My wife and I used to live in a noisy, urban apartment. We had so much trouble sleeping that we eventually bought one of those sound machines -- not the Miami kind, with Gloria Estafan, but the type that have, you know, a bunch of "soothing tones" to help lull you into slumber: White Noise, Ocean Waves, Babbling Brook, Crickets, etc.

But we recently bought a house, thereby trading one insomnia-inducing problem for another. Now we no longer have the noise, but we have since acquired a handful of squirrelly, nocturnal cats. They like to show up at 2:00 the morning, leap onto the bed, and tromp around like a marching band, or give our faces unexpected groomings. So while we no longer require the white noise, we now need something to keep the kitties at bay.

That's why I'm going to invent the Cat-A-Tonic 4000. It will work just like the traditional noise machine, except that, instead of quietly playing soothing noises, it will loudly play sounds designed to deter feline visitations. The five settings will be:

  • Vacuum Cleaner

  • Garbage Truck

  • Coke Can Full of Pennies

  • Firecrackers

  • Water Spritzer
Also, every fifteen minutes it will bark. Land of Nod, here I come!

Heroin Chew toys: Some friends of mine recently got a puppy that immediately ran away. It's kind of a long story, involving loose collars, thunder, and a Nick At Night "Joanni Loves Chachi" Marathon; suffice to say, the dog ran away and my friends were worried sick for days. They kept putting his food bowl out in the back yard but he didn't return until, like, six days later, when he finally hungry enought to come home.

So in the interest of preventing this kind of tragedy from befalling others, I immediately applied by parsnip-like intellect to this vexing problem. What would prevent a dog from running away for a full week, asked I. And the answer was so obvious that I'm amazed that you, personally, hadn't already thought of it: a heroin addiction. That's where heroin chew toys come in. If your puppy runs away, he's guaranteed to be back on your doorstep, strung-out and whining for a fix by the end of the day. And this works a lot better than food as a Canine Retention Tool, because while a hungry dog can scavenge or eat (o)possums or whatever, a heroin addicted dog has no choice but to go home, unless you live in downtown Seattle, in which case your dog can get hooked up pretty much anywhere.

Wow, these ideas are so great that I am already rich!!

Posted on November 04, 2002 to Great Ideas


I once bought one of those little mini-waterfall fountain things in an attempt to create some white noise so I could get to sleep. Except that the sound of the flowing water, instead of soothing me into a restful sleep, would cause me to occasionally wake up in a panic thinking that a pipe had burst.

So instead I got a cat who every night at around 4AM starts biting my feet. I tried a squirting device to dissuade her but instead of running away from the stream of water she frolics in it and then goes back to biting my feet with renewed vigor.

So, put me down for a Cat-A-Tonic 4000. The vacuum cleaner noise will keep the cats away, and in order to prevent it from waking me up I will also take a couple of Heroin Chew Toys for myself.

Posted by: rich on November 4, 2002 2:48 PM

I bought one of those nice little fountain thingers too. However, there are two things not nice about it:

1. The sound of the little pump is louder than the sound of the trickling water.

2. When I can actually hear the water, it makes me have to pee.

Posted by: Ariel on November 4, 2002 3:40 PM

I think the way those things are supposed to work is that you throw the cat into the fountain.

Posted by: Cartenhausen on November 4, 2002 11:00 PM

So instead of used VCRs, the local pawn shop would end up full of rubber bones.

Posted by: Rory on November 5, 2002 2:04 AM

But Gal's Panic told me "Dogs Don't Do Drugs"!

Posted by: James on November 5, 2002 3:29 AM

Matthew, why don't you just put the vacuum outside your bedroom door? Just the sight of the Evil Machine is enough to make Gabe & Stew run for cover.

I guess that wouldn't sell very well, would it? Unless you came up with some great marketing gimmick.

Posted by: ranger on November 5, 2002 9:55 AM

Being a newbie cat owner, I thought I was alone in my private hell of nighttime cat playing. She sits on my chest, nibbles fingers, attacks anything that moves, then tries for the mini-blinds from my pillow, all the while purring as loud as a freight train. Sign me up for a Cat-A-Tonic 4000 please.

Posted by: bets on November 6, 2002 4:37 PM

I know cats have an awful reputation for nocturnal activity, but try keeping a rabbit! Bunny (an unoriginal, but descriptive name) is crepuscular (meaning most active at dusk and dawn) which means that at dawn every morning she runs around like a lunatic, chews her toys, her food, and sometimes my toes and/or hair and/or fingers, depending on her mood.

Did I mention her charming habit of peeing on my bed? Oh yeah, and rabbit urine is bright orange!

Think the Cat-A-Tonic 4000 would work on our lagomorph friends???

Posted by: Stacey on November 11, 2002 8:03 AM