semiotic_pirate: (kitty tp unrolling - evil laugh)
Makes you wonder who the true overlords of The Matrix are...

Cats Harbor Secret Plan to Turn Us Into Litter-Scooping Robots
Lore Sjöberg
Wired Magazine

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.

This covers most of the services I provide to my cat, but not all of them. Let's start with the scratching and/or skritching. As far as I can see, this is between my cat and my hand, with very little participation from me. I just kind of stick out my hand and make a repetitive scratching movement, and my cat moves his head and neck around to his liking. I can even do it while playing Warcraft, provided the other people in my group don't mind dying for a cat's pleasure once in a while.

Really, though, there's no reason I couldn't substitute one of those robotic hands scientists build to prove that some day robots will be able to make shadow puppets. Just stick it on a "repetitive scratching motion loop" and the cat can go nuts, assuming he isn't terrified by the whirring and buzzing. On the other hand, fiction teaches us that a) most robots turn evil and b) most severed hands turn evil, so maybe this isn't such a good idea.

After that I only need to build a robotic lap -- I think that's called a "heating pad" -- and some sort of sweeper arm to knock the cat off my desk when he's being pesky, and then I'm set. Modern science has very nearly rendered human beings unnecessary when it comes to the life of a cat.

And you know, I can't back this up biologically, but I somehow suspect this is how the cats planned it all along. Time may prove that, evolutionarily speaking, we are simply a large and complex external cat organ, one given the duty of making itself obsolete.

I think, on some level, we know this. That's why so many stories and movies and TV shows are about robots replacing mankind. I think if you look carefully, somewhere in the corner of their austere mechanical fortresses, you'll see a cat box being scooped.

- - -

Born helpless, nude and unable to provide for himself, Lore Sjöberg eventually overcame these handicaps to become a large and complex external cat organ.

The comments are pretty hilarious too. Read if you dare! Yaaar!

*repels all boarders*
semiotic_pirate: (Triffid Talker)
I would like to extend sincere and heartfelt thanks to those of you who responded to my post about Tato. The shots seem to have helped, he's eating again and not hiding under the bed. We're going to be putting him on regular shots of something our vet friend calls "depo" which is supposed to be a longer acting steroid. Using that we are hoping to extend his life a short amount because he will be more comfortable and relatively pain free due to the reduction of swelling. As long as I continually remember which part of him not to squeeze like a roll of Charmin he should be okay for a bit.

I'm not sure how long he will hold out, how far it is advanced or how quickly it will continue to grow. If he takes another turn for the worse we'll have his lymph nodes aspirated (the least invasive) as well as an ultrasound to visualize the area. I'm in a bit of denial while trying to face this which is why I'm not having both done now. All the evidence now points to the one diagnosis, to lymphoma, so I'm not going to fight it. I just can't face it completely yet.


In other news, I got assaulted by trolls yesterday after commenting on ginmar's report about the feminist communities across the internet getting super-trolled. Apparently there are people getting targeted by some sort of whack-jobs who are claiming not to hate women but are attacking women who are just trying to even out the playing/living/working/existence fields. I'm not going to get into the semantics or details of it all. Most people on my f-list know approximately where I stand on the matter of equality issue. Getting slammed for being friends with, or at the very least the reading of, people who use their blogs as forums to discuss or diatribe against what they will is obviously not something that bothers me. *shrug*

And if that doesn't make them go away, I have a community of hacker friends who would be more than willing to track some of them down and make their lives pretty damned miserable. Not sure if ending on something that may be perceived as a threat is a good thing but it is what I have chosen to do.
semiotic_pirate: (Kitty In Bowl)

Finding out your favorite kitty in the whole wide world is going to die of Lymphoma. He's got anywhere from two weeks to two years (the two year case was an exception, the weeks/months cases are the rule).

It isn't like this was completely unexpected. I knew that he didn't have something simple like IBS because the treatment for that didn't work after a while. And now I found out, when the family vet stopped by the house, that there is a lump in there where there shouldn't be.

He hadn't been eating or cuddling, was hiding under the bed and all that. I had a crying jag and didn't get anything done at all today.

When our vet friend was over, she brought some syringes, one a steroid shot, the other an antibiotic. A tiny bit later, he demanded to be fed and was more active than he'd been in a while. More interactive with his environment, hanging out lounging in the living room instead of hiding under the bed.


In all my years of intermittent pet ownership, this is the first time I've ever had (where the cat is mine, Loki was CoB's cat) a sick pet in the end stages of life. I've had the furball for about 12 years and he wasn't a kitten when I got him from the shelter. It makes me sad that he'll probably be gone soon, but I know that he's had a happy life and all that. The key now is to make sure he's got that "quality of life" for the time he has left.

Kitty Post

Aug. 3rd, 2007 07:01 pm
semiotic_pirate: (kitty tp unrolling - evil laugh)
Got this from Petsmart today along with this because one of our cats is getting cantankerous and old and well... Kind of like CoB really. The situation in the bathroom that the litter box needed a change up because the older of our two kitties likes to back up to the edge of the box and sometimes misses getting his emissions INTO the box. This is not where the kitty is similar to CoB btw, just on the cantankerous and old part.

Cats adapt quickly to this Top-Entry Litterbox and love the privacy! The revolutionary design is virtually dog-proof and prevents litter tracking. The litterbox also eliminates over-the-edge mess while reducing odors. The tall seamless sidewalls prevent leakage.

How the CleverCat Top Entry Litterbox Works:

* Cat hops onto the top of litterbox and steps down inside through the opening.
* Cat takes care of business and exits through the the same opening.
* When exiting across built-in tracking mat, litter is removed from cat's paws.

Light gray litterbox is made of heavy-duty plastic and measures 20" L x 15" W x 15" D with a 9" diameter opening. Use one litterbox for up to two cats. Manufacturer provides a one-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee. Two sample pan liners included.

Developed by a veterinarian in a feline-only practice, Cat Attract Litter is designed to make it easier to get cats of all ages trained or re-trained to use the litterbox.

* Clay-based, clumping litter has just the right texture, particle size and a unique herbal scent which is proven to attract cats.
* It's scoopable.
* 99% dust-free.
* Contains chlorophyll for natural odor control.
* Each bag includes a booklet with step-by-step instructions for using Cat Attract and useful tips for getting any cat to use the litter box.
* Also includes an unconditional manufacturer's guarantee.

The other cat, well, she LOVES the new box and litter. Had to christen the box immediately (#1 & #2) and she was soooo happy scratching and sniffing and everything elsing. TMI on purpose.

Hopefully the litter lures the kantankerous kitty into the new box. I introduced him to it but he's been avoiding using the box off and on due to a recent illness. *fingers crossed* Going to read that little booklet and see what's what.

Wish me luck with the little stinker, eh?
semiotic_pirate: (ruby slippers)
well well. one of my cats - knicknamed smelly for her odiferous past - is curled up like a burrito in CoB's towel on the floor of the bathroom. she likes to drag his towel down off the rack and rub her fur and scent all over it. she doesn't do this to the hand towel, which is just as accessible. Hrm. It is a black towel (for now, she is a white/calico color) and when she first peered out of the towel I said "welcome, darth smelly" because CoB and me just watched the entire six part movie marathon over the last few days.

now she is completely enveloped in the towel, reminding me of a small furry tribble or hordaa. *shrug* she makes me laugh. all is good.


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