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Tycho / on Mon, Mar 15 2004 at 4:30 am

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Torun Jax, Blind Jedi

I mean, they fight using extrasensory perception.  Just because he can’t read the back of a cereal box doesn’t make him any less dangerous.

I’ve had a couple weeks now with the Littermaid Plus, and I have to say that this is one of the worst designed consumer devices ever made.  I don’t have any arguments with the concept - a machine that obviates the need to play with feline waste.  I’m onboard.  Men of science, please invent a machine that will collect and sequester the tiny pot roasts my cat leaves behind.  It is, however, a deeply ironic device, and it has lessons to teach us about sloth and human folly.  Indeed, this strange method of instruction is the only thing it accomplishes with any regularity.  What we learn through using the device is that life is sometimes difficult, and to try and mediate that fact invites the scorn of the universe.     

There is a sort of “comb” that trawls the litter, snaring the sweet surprises left within and theoretically deposting them into a sort of cat shit purgatory.  While mostly successful, the waste must first travel up a steep ramp, like the ones in extreme sports videos.  And sometimes it is flung out, as though by catapult, toward imaginary foes.     

The thing is, the device really doesn’t have a lot of room in it for cats, which strikes me as a design flaw.  You would think they would try to put a cat in there, or find somebody who had a cat, shit, maybe just imagine a cat and try to design their litterbox around that hypothetical, hairy customer.  But they didn’t.  Cats must situate themselves diagonally in order to make a deposit as it were, so the container at the end where it’s all supposed to go fills up at the sides first and then boils over into your house.  This isn’t even the worst problem.   

Cat pee and litter is like wet cement, it’s like a new state of matter.  In an ordinary, non-robot litter box it has time to “set” so that you can remove it and then go do something that is important to you.  If, on the other hand, a mechanical arm reaches out and spreads it the length and breadth of the device, now you have a completely disgusting new task you could never have imagined in trade for the one you thought you were giving up forever. 

It is the sort of thing you would design if you had only a vague description of a cat and you didn’t really give a fuck if it worked or not.

(CW)TB out.

red war will fall on my enemies

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