A proposal for a genuine tweeting cat

So there are people out there who tweet for (or as) their pets. (There are exceptions. John Scalzi has outsourced tweeting on the behalf of his cat to a person nobody knows, not even John Scalzi. And trustworthy sources inform me that Sockington (Jason Scott’s cat) writes his own tweets, despite Scott’s occasional claims to the contrary.)

Then there’s the tweeting office chair.

These two ideas — tweeting pets, and automated tweeting — could surely meet.

Suppose you have a cat.

Suppose you have too much free time.

It would be easy, though possibly alienating to your spouse and friends, to install little sensors in the cat’s litterbox, food cup, water cup, and even in the catflap. Put a final sensor on the cat’s collar, just to be sure it’s the cat that’s activating the switch in the catflap, or the pressure sensor under the litterbox.

Then spend an evening writing ten different messages for each activated sensor. Possibly depending on the hour the activation happens.

Because of my sense of humor, I provide an example of the litterbox.

(generic) “Poop time!”

(generic) “Poop time! Hope the Human hasn’t put a camera in this thing yet.”

(generic, only after the previous) “Poop time! Wait, was that a flash?”

(generic) “Out, brown demons of meals past! Out and into your graves, I say!”

(activation between midnight and 6 am) “I poop. The darkness hides my poop. The darkness, and the sand. Nobody will ever know.”

How about the catflap?

(cat moved from inside to outside) “Going out. Don’t wait for me.”

(from out to in) “I’m back! Why’s no-one waiting for me?”

(came close from the in-side) “Weather outside [read local forecast]? No, weather outside STUPID.”

The immediate problem is that if you try to make up witty tweets, you need to prepare a lot of them; otherwise this will get annoying really fast. Then again, you could just prepare ones like these:

The cat went out.

The cat came in.

The cat buggered around the flap and didn’t go out after all. #fuckinglazycat

(What’s a glazy cat?)

Oh, and the water cup? It should be trivial (I can say this, because I’m the least technical person alive) to make the cup sense, say, the water level and whether there’re any waves in the cup (or any tremors) plus whether the cat is close.

Put a sensor on the water tap while you’re at it.

(cup tremors, plus tap near) “HUMAN: There’s fresh water for the cat!”

(cup tremors, plus tap near, plus cat near) “CAT: Hurry up with the water, Human! Hurry up, or I’ll water your ankles!”

(cup tremors, tap not near, cat not near) “T-REX!!!!!”

(cup tremors, cat near) “Lap lap lap. I accept this water, Human. You pillow is safe for today.”

(cup near-empty, cat near) “@HUMAN Hey, Human. Gimme water or I’ll leave dry powdery caca all over your laptop.”

(the previous, if the same 10min later) “Hey @HUMAN, am unclenching my sphincter right now. GIVE ME WATER!!!!!”

Though this is getting ludicrous, put a sensor on the vacuum cleaner too.

(cup tremors, vacuum near) (do nothing, because the tremors are just the Human vacuuming.)

(vacuum and cat close; then not; then close, etc.) “Am stalking the roaring carpet-eating beast.”

(To the last of which the reply would be, “Your cat’s a lesbian?”)

I don’t know how easy it would be to make an altitude sensor. If easy, the cat could tweet its new maximum and minimum altitudes. What else? Temperature, acceleration, location (“In the closet. Your shoes fit my brownstar like a glove, @HUMAN.”), luminosity, magnetic fields… wait, what would a cat tweet about a magnetic field?

Point a spare webcam at the feeding area; make it snap a picture now and then when the cat-sensor’s close to the feeding area sensors. Then tweet it as, say,

Me and my noms at the kitchen. Less noms by the minute. (pic)

These all would be sensors with batteries I Am Not Considering, and would report through, um, your home wireless to, um, to your laptop (or the like; I Am Not Technical), which would log, process and tweet, possibly limiting itself to a tweet every five minutes plus the “important ones” (say, “Cat went out”, just so you can find the cat).

As a result, your cat could tweet its life accurately and unawarely, without any active human help. I predict in twenty years all cats will do this.

The next objective would be to make tweets cat-readable.

That might be more challenging.


Because I am not a horrible person, I will not suggest putting a heart monitor on your cat.

(no heartbeat) “Hey, @HUMAN! Buy a new cat. I’m outta here.”

2 Responses to “A proposal for a genuine tweeting cat”

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