by Michael W. Dean
There’s a growing problem in our society that no government or law can solve (like all problems). The problem is cats encroaching on electronic gear.
Yesterday I spent an hour with Ian Freeman kindly helping me set up a mix minus on the Feens brand new mixer, the Knob-Master 9000. It worked great, and I wrote down the settings on the many many knobs and buttons, turned it off, and covered the whole table with a thick towel like I do every night to keep cat hair off it.
Next day when Neema and I went to use it, it wasn’t working as it should. Even with my list of all the settings, it took us an hour to figure out which of the 9000 buttons a cat had pressed by standing on it. That’s an hour we’ll never get back, and it’s bound to happen again and again without a solution.
Cats love electronic gear. It’s warm. They look at a 400 dollar mixer as a 400 dollar cat warmer. Electronic gear also hums, even if very quietly, and it’s my theory that cats perceive this as purring. Mainly though, cats are interested in anything you are interested in, because it keeps you from paying attention to them. They may also have an interest in guarding something that you seem to regard as important.
There are all sorts of articles and prodoucts aimed at keeping cats off of electronic gear. They range from double-sided sticky tape (which pisses cats off when it gets stuck to their feet, and seems to me, cruel), to electronic solutions, like software that produces a loud horn sound when it detects “cat-like typing” on a keyboard. You know, like this:
None of this really suits my needs. There is literally no way to keep cats off my stuff in a way that won’t worry them, and I hate to worry them. So my wife came up with a way to let them sit on the mixer without them being able to push any buttons with their little kittyfeet. Witness the birth of The Cat-Master 300. Price: about eight bucks for a piece of foam core board. You’ll also need duct tape and a razor blade.
I didn’t even have to bill the Feens for the foam core, because we already paid for it from the budget of the Guns and Weed movie. We used one to reflect light onto J-Tizzle’s face to keep shadows away while filming her outside.
We also used one as an impromptu teleprompter. We wrote the lines she’s speaking in the movie, and printed them out for her to read. She did a great job, people think she was improvising, that’s because she’s that good. But we printed her lines in big type and taped them to foam core board.
HOW TO MAKE a The Cat-Master 300: Measure the foam core over the part of the device you need to cover, score (don’t cut all the way) a fold with the razor blade, fold it, fold it under again, then reinforce the underside with another chunk of foam core, and reinforce everything with duct tape. Then cover it and your gear with a towel when the gear is not in use. A cat can sit on it now without pressing any buttons on the gear.
There. We invented something. The world owes us a billion dollars and we’ll file for a patent and sue you if you make one of these. Just kitten. Have at it.
Inspiration for the Cat-Master 300: