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5 Ways to Improve Cats

On paper, no one can argue with cats. Nice concept. Clean design. Right size. Good noise level. No need to go outside. More or less independent. The theoretical cat is perfectly conducive to the lazy man's lifestyle. Yet few men I know own cats. I think it's because we've come to the same conclusion. In spite of their theoretical benefits, ready availability and legions of supporters, actual cats offer nothing of value to modern humanity.

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Get a job, you poop-burying hippies.

Oh, you've never met MY cat! Really? Does your cat run around? Does your cat play? Does your cat listen to you? Is your cat loyal? Does it do tricks? So, your best defense of cats is that your cat is different because it acts like a dog? Well, then ...

But you DON'T UNDERSTAND. You're not a CAT PERSON, you say. You're right. I don't, and I'm not. Here's the sad part: I want to. I want to love cats. I really do. I love the idea of owning a small animal I seldom have to think about. It makes total sense for me. I get credit for keeping something alive, and I receive the benefits of companionship. But every time I spend a long period of time with a cat, I'm ripped from my reverie -- usually right after the cat leaves the litter box and walks poop tracks across the dinner table -- and I catch myself and think, "Why would anyone want to own one of these things?"

My comments are divisive, I know. I'm digging at old wounds. I'm not here to deepen the national division. I'm here to help. I'm here to offer solutions on ways we can improve cats so that all of mankind can love cats the way you cat lovers love cats. Some of these suggestions are practical. Some are radical. But no one can ever say I was one of those cat bashers who just complained about the problem and didn't do anything about it. So how about we try some of these on for size?

#5. Bring Cats Live Animals to Hunt

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The cat wants to hunt. It was born to hunt. Hunting was the reason humans and cats became friends in the first place. Around 10,000 years ago, the first farmer planted the first crop, and the first mouse that ever noticed the first crop got real excited, because these idiot humans were planting food for mice to eat. For mice, life looked beautiful. Then a cat came along, looked at the mouse (who had no food), looked at the humans (who had plenty of food) and sided with us. It was the start of a mutually beneficial friendship.

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"Sorry, ducks, but the pink monkeys have more food and warmth."

The cat still wants to hunt. If you own a cat, you've seen it stalk around your home like an assassin, looking totally awesome. Let it do its awesome thing. I don't care how. Turn it loose in the basement with a live mouse. Buy it a frog to track in your kitchen. Whatever. It's not grotesque. Watching cats kill things is a time-honored human tradition. It's what farmers watched for thousands of years before they got those huge satellite dishes. If there was a channel of cats hunting stuff, I would watch it. So would a lot of men. It's awesome watching cats hunt.

#4. Train All Cats to Use Baby Wipes

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Any animal that tracks feces all over your home is disgusting. That's exactly what cats do. This needs to stop. Now. Cats are lauded for being clean, but would a clean animal track potentially harmful waste all over your clean tables, furniture, countertops and children? No, it wouldn't. It would have the decency to sanitize itself. Have you read the literature on cat poop? It's like something out of a Michael Crichton novel.

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"Call in the hazmat team, and may God have mercy on our souls."

Parasites in cat excrement may cause problems such as blindness, hearing loss and mental disabilities in babies born to infected mothers. People with weakened immune systems can also develop serious complications. Don't even think about flushing that cat poop down the toilet. Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite found in cat poop, may survive the wastewater treatment process and contaminate waterways, where it can harm humans and sea otters alike. Also, it was revealed that the same parasite mentioned above makes some people crazy.

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If the cat:people ratio in your home is more than 2:1, you are legally a crazy cat person.

How do you train a cat to use baby wipes? I don't know. Get on this, cat scientists.

#3. Make Cats Glow in the Dark

Picture this. You and your friends have been out all night. You bring the after-party to your place. That's when you drop the hammer. "Watch this," you say, as you turn out the lights and people shriek and your home goes complete dark except for your neon green glowing cat. Everyone goes nuts. "That cat glows in the dark, man," some guy probably named Steve shouts while everyone applauds you for taking your party to another level.

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Usually that kind of praise is reserved for people who discover new exciting mixes of uppers and downers.

The next night, it's back to your place again after the bars, because Steve brought his friend Motor to see the "space cat." You knew your glow-in-the-dark cat was a hit, so you thought ahead. Now you've got two glowing cats, and it blows everyone's minds. Two cats. Glowing in the dark. It's like a Daft Punk video or something. Less than a month later, you've got 20 cats and the most happening after-party scene in town. Dudes want to hang with you. Ladies want to love you. You're the man. Word spreads. Across the country, doomed cats are rescued from shelters by pot dealers, dance club promoters and weird European guys. Cats have found their modern use. They're in demand. Glow-in-the-dark kitties are the new lava lamp.

This technology exists.

Washington Post
Coming soon to Sharper Image.

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