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Cat Flap Security

posted Jan 16, 2017, 2:26 AM by Viktor Zólyomi   [ updated Jan 16, 2017, 2:26 AM ]
The following article was penned by Jonathan Parker and was originally published in the Desert Rock Guardian.

A new locally developed cat security system is now available for purchase in the town of Desert Rock. Aimed at cat owners whose house is equipped with a cat flap on the front or back door, the Antistray 3000 home security system is designed to protect the homes, and their occupants, from the threat of being invaded by stray cats. The development comes in response to months of distress that cat owners have had to endure in Desert Rock.

`These opportunistic little rascals have been stealing Mister Fluffy's food for six months,' says Maggie Travers, a local pensioner and owner of a Persian cat. `Every time I leave the house the stray cats know. They go inside and cause all sorts of mischief. At first I blamed Mister Fluffy, but one time I found the fridge door wide open and all the yogurt cups empty. Mister Fluffy doesn't like yogurt so I knew something was wrong. That's when I asked my grandson to install a camera in the kitchen.'

The video camera in the house of Mrs. Travers successfully recorded how a gang of no less than six stray housecats (a gray and an orange tabby, two black and whites, a calico, and a black cat) invaded the house through the cat flap on the back door, chased off her own cat, forced the cupboard open, and ate all the dry cat food they could get their paws on. They stayed in the house until Mrs. Travers returned home, and then vacated the premises so fast she did not see them until she watched the video camera footage.

Since then, dozens of households have recorded similar incidents, all perpetrated by the same group of stray cats, whom the locals have taken to referring to as the Naughty Kitty Gang.

While cat owners feel too affectionate towards cats in general to take any drastic measures against the strays, a local electronics firm known as the Hades Corporation has taken it upon itself to develop a home security system that can solve the problem.

`Our system consists of a set of smart cameras, locks, and multimedia devices,' says Malcolm Dallas, lead engineer of the Antistray 3000. `We have a camera outside the door, which monitors the cats that approach the cat flap. The system uses state-of-the-art facial recognition to match the cats to the ones registered as living on the premises. If there is a match, the system unlocks the cat flap, allowing the cat to enter.'

At first glance, the above security system sounds sufficient, but the Hades corporation went the extra mile to ensure that their system is foolproof.

`We have additional cameras on the inside,' Mr. Dallas elaborates. `In case some strays manage to enter the house through let's say the window, or the chimney. If intruders are detected, Antistray 3000 activates the alarm, which is a recording of the barking of a pack of angry pitbulls. The volume gradually intensifies to give off the illusion that the pack is getting closer. After the strays leave the house, the audio is rerouted to the external speakers in order to chase the strays even further. The system is therefore flawless, so much so that we offer a one year money back guarantee. This guarantee of course does not extend to invasion by hearing impaired stray cats.'

The Mayor of Desert Rock, himself a victim of stray cat invasion, applauds the Hades Corporation for their effort to innovate, but believes that Antistray 3000 will prove to be a hard sell.

`Most cat owners, myself included, would not want to install an alarm system that sounds like a pack of rabid dogs ready to murder them and their pets. While it may chase off the strays, it will also scare the living daylights out of the cats who live in the house. I think the trade-off is not worth it. Better to just nail the cat flap shut, or buy another five cats so they can fight off the Naughty Kitty Gang. That's what I did.'

While it is early to judge whether the Mayor's expectation will prove correct, in the three days passed since the official release of Antistray 3000 the Hades Corporation has not sold a single unit. Malcolm Dallas remains confident that the product will eventually become a success, and that he will not be fired at the end of the month.