Coping: with Cat-Knockers

imageNow that we’re getting into the eggnoggy time of year, we can all relax, knowing the Fed is going to print however much money it takes to fan the dying embers of inflation while deflation rages on.

This leaves me time to get on to the all-important task of inventing technological breakthroughs which I offer you this morning, free of charge..

I’m big on properly trained pets.  Zeus the Cat has turned into a pretty fair copy editor (so much so that people notice the lack of creative typography here lately). 

Zeus behaves pretty much like a dog:  Comes when I whistle for him, drinks out of a water outlet outside, stares at what he wants and meows for it, sits for his meals and even sleeps on my feet on cold morning’s like this one.  Almost a dog, although I have thought about a Jack Russell terrier.  Main thing about cats is they bury their waste, and I’ve stepped in enough dog piles to last me a lifetime.  So dog training, applied to a cat, seems to work for us.

Circling back to the point (which I inadvertently do now and then):  When I put in the outside door to the new recording/studio room, I made the mistake of letting Zeus in when I heard him scratch on the door.

Unfortunately, this led to him enjoying clawing at the door and that began to degrade the outside weather-stripping.   Hmmm…looked like crap so what to do?

One of the nice things about being half-crazy is it’s easy to let the creative juices roll on command.  What was I really after?  What was the cat after?  What would be the most interesting and novel solution to the problem?

A Cat-Knocker!

As shown on the diagram above, this is about a 2-minute project.  All you need is a strip of thin paneling which is the backer board and through this you screw a fairly loose hole so your knocker pendulum will swing freely.

For the knocker pendulum itself, I used a piece  of scrap that was about 14-inches long and about 3/4 deep by an inch wide. 

Mount the backer with two countersinking head screws (behind the knocker pendulum so they don’t show) after first attaching the pendulum with a screw and backing it out half a turn so the pendulum can swing freely:  Presto!  A Cat-Knocker.

Why no one else has built one of these obvious-as-hell inventions brings me to the first point of this morning’s column:  Lots of people have torn up doors where their pets have ripped the door and door jam to shreds. 

But of all the folks I know with pets, nary a one has seen the problem for what it is (an opportunity to invent some little doo-dad like this one) and solve the problem in a graceful way.

What’s more, unlike other designs which are already on the market, my approach offered this morning doesn’t involve batteries.  But, if you are interested in a really high tech solution, you might consider something from literally dozens of other options.

One is this Pet Door Bell and for $50 or so you can set up to the Cat Doorbell – Wireless Indicator for your Cat.

All of which scurrying to the marketing books to work out a clever feature lists for my little cat-knocker.  Let me see…. it’s:

    • Made of 100% recyclable materials
    • Not covered with dangerous coatings
    • Pre-sanded, paint to match your own door
    • Invisible installation system
    • No batteries to wear out or replace
    • Safe for use around children
    • Works on left or right-hand doors
    • Installs on the door jam – nothing to trip over
    • Requires no maintenance
    • Hear up to 20-feet away

    And so we (finally, thankfully) arrive at the point of this morning’s scrawl:  A good marketer can always think up at least half a dozen features for even insanely simple products (two pieces of wood, one of which has a predrilled hold in it, and three screws).

    All that’s needed now is some packaging – and there will probably cost as much (if not more) than the materials for the Eco-Cat Knocker itself.

    With a name like that, I was figuring to get an endorsement from Al Gore, hisself.  I have to look into whether the Sierra Club does product endorsements, but them of Greenpeace would be fine.

    The next step would be to partner up with the guy who invented the new toilet paper that has no throw-away rolls on the inside of it, and get really serious about re-visioning the low level products of life; the ones we use every day and don’t spend any time thinking about…

    Already I’m looking at a hunk of quarter inch rebar to update existing toilet papers holders to the new “no roll” variety.  I reckon about the only cost would be for the quarter-inch rebar, about 6-inches long…and that will get me into seeing if there’s an SAE or Metric or ANSI spec for the width of toilet paper. 

    We are absolutely flush with profit potential for the new venture.

    Be sure and drop my tomorrow as I unveil my new eggnog dispenser..  These breakthroughs are going to make us all rich, I tell you.  In all seriousness; or at least some of it.

    March of Robots

    Sugar Plum Fairies seem a lot less threatening that artificial intelligence (AI) if you’re following:

    George… not a member but love your site! Here’s a great link to a TED talk about AI that ties into your article on computer/machine learning.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/jeremy_howard_the_wonderful_and_terrifying_implications_of_computers_that_can_learn?utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_campaign=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_content=button__2014-12-16
    Sounds like the birth of Hal and The Terminator is at hand!

    Thanks to reader Michael for the tip.  Now I just need to find 20-minutes…

    Tiny Bubbles

    A reader asked “How do I read the comments on your website.”

    Simply look for the little bubble quoty-thing upper right above the first article in a batch.  The tiny bubble thingy.

    Tex-Abuse or Truth?

    Getting to the time of year when people with free time on their fingers forward Tex-Abuse stories.  Like this one:

    “A young Texan grew up wanting to be a lawman. He grew up big, 6′ 2″ strong as a longhorn, and fast as a mustang. He could shoot a bottle cap tossed in the air at 40 paces.   

    When he finally came of age, he applied to where he had only dreamed of working: the West Texas Sheriff’s Department.  

    After a series of tests and interviews, the Chief Deputy finally called  him into his office for the young man’s last interview.

    The Chief Deputy  said, “You’re a big strong kid and you can really shoot. So far your  qualifications all look good, but we have, what you might  call, an “Attitude Suitability Test” that you must take before you can be accepted. We just don’t let anyone carry our badge, son.”    

    Then, sliding a service pistol and a box of ammo across the desk,  the Chief said, “Take this pistol and go out and shoot:  six illegal aliens, six lawyers, six meth dealers, six Muslim extremists,  six Democrats, and a rabbit.”   

    “Why the rabbit?” queried the applicant.    

    “You pass,” said the Chief Deputy. “When can you start?”

    I’ll leave it to you to discern whether this really happened, but I heard it was just east of the Pecos River.

    Time to head off to see how my ink stocks are doing, now that the Fed is planning to use more. 

    Write when you get rich or break-even.

    George  george@ure.net

    Comments

    Coping: with Cat-Knockers — 6 Comments

    1. 400 points? The insanity of it all. Like we are in an alternate universe. Wait…..

    2. So the North Korean Hack is a front for taking away more civil liberty’s and restricting the internet vis-a-vis the cyber security bill in front of CONhgress and the Cuban deal is real just countering Russia’s move to reopen military bases on the island…..

    3. thanks George, just co-opted your cat knocker idea for my dog, who thinks scratching or growling at the door triggers a switch (being any dumb human in range!)that opens it

    4. Hi George,
      In regards to the Jack Russell terrier you’ve been thinking about.
      I think it will be the perfect dog for your ranch. They are really good at keeping rodents away. Probably even better than the cat. (sorry zeus). They are hard to train but once house broken, you will love their smarts and charm.
      Thanks for all your hard work. I read your site daily.

      • I knew a Jack Russell who lived to be 19 years old…he was a miserable sucker, ruled the roost…his owners were too scared to touch him or pick him up as he snarled, snapped, and bit them, by the time they got him hog tailed to the vets, the vets used a towel to inspect him, but he was a good ratter, and one day, he tackled one about the size of him….and sat on it, till the humans came and disposed of it…he was loyal and faithful to the end…this is not a dog for the wusses…as they need a lot of attention and exercise and they do not just like any one who comes a knocking…

    5. Is it Mex abuse or Tex abuse. With an hispanic majority in texas (mostly under 18 at the moment) there will be a latino governor within 5 years. I ‘m hoping for rosetta stone under the tree.