Cat with head-mounted laser

September 1, 2014 • 1:20 pm

by Matthew Cobb

We’ve debated the ethics of playing with cats (and other animals) using laser pointers a number of times (e.g. here). This cat’s staff has fitted it up with a head-mounted laser. So at least kitty won’t get his eyes fried. Still not sure it’s the Right Thing to do though.

However, I once had a cat – Spizz, the cat from outer space – who was the smartest cat I have ever known, who would hold one of those long stiff parcel wraps in his mouth, then push it along the kitchen floor, which mind a nice noise, and try and catch it, just like this cat. Except that Spizz figured that out all by himself, and would spend hours messing about. He would also fetch balls of aluminium foil that you flicked across the floor, and bring them back.

A non-prize for the reader who knows why/when we called him Spizz.


46 thoughts on “Cat with head-mounted laser

      1. That’s an idea. Not the elastics that you make ponytails with? I’d be afraid that Freddie would choke on those.

        1. yep I mean the ones to make ponytails with. They are about 2 inches in diameter(I use the Goody bands with no metal on them) and have had no problems. My one cat, Muffin doesn’t want to eat them, but only to carry them around. She also brings them to the bedroom at about 3 AM trilling and yowling, looking for someone to play with her. Beware what you unleash 🙂

          1. My dear-departed cat Sassy, somehow found half of a toddler’s yellow sock ( I think my daughter and I must have made a puppet out of the rest)and carried the damn thing around, yowling through it, often at 3 AM. The piece of sock was almost always by the front door when we came home from school/work. This went on for years, until suddenly the sock disappeared. It probably got vacuumed up. She must have thought it was a kitten or something.

              1. For the socks, it’s not a concern. he sometimes rips a hole in one, but the sock otherwise remains intact.

                He’s never shown any inclination to get more of a rubber band in his mouth than is necessary to pick it up — and, even still, he’s much more into batting it around. If he picks it up, it’s to fling it immediately, or to carry it to some other place, not to try to eat it.

                I imagine outdoor cats must do much the same thing with twigs…though only if they’ve had their fill of bugs and lizards and the like….


            1. Orson is also a mighty hunter of the wily, wild sock roll. After defeating it in mortal combat beneath the glow of a night light will sing a ballad to let me know he has conquered the sock.

              And then drop the pair of dead socks on my pillow because he knows I can’t hunt my own socks.

              1. Yes, Sassy also brought the slobbery sock-segment to my pillow, often as an earlier-than-planned alarm clock.

          2. Sometimes when mine (same kind) wind up on the floor, they become cat toys. But he’s got other toys he prefers…like my hands — or, for that matter, my hair….


          3. I have to hide those from my dog. She likes to chew them like gum. I think it’s partly because they smell like me and also they are gummy.

  1. Well, there was a spaceman Spiff in Calvin and Hobbes, so maybe “Spizz” is a cross between Spiff (“the cat from outer space”) and “spazz”.

  2. Why is this considered cruel? One of the prime directives of Cat is to amuse their staff. For evidence, see the Internet.

  3. As to “why / when” for your feline’s name, I have no true idea.

    Just a guess: your ?ginger? kitty cat liked “making” his own “weird music” sliding around the parcel wrapper or the foil balls — all “sounding” in the manner of the music made / played by vocalist and lead guitarist, !orangish – spiked haired! Spizz, and his 70s punk / new wave band — Spizzenergi — out of England ?


    1. I thought the same, but I’d got the band/ player flagged as “Spizz-80”, with a particular flag for the late 70s punk scene in Manchester. I don’t know if Matthew was there at the time, but like the 1960s, I suspect that if he can remember it, he probably wasn’t really there.

      1. IIRC Spizz changed his/their name every year, from Spizz Energi to Spizz Oil to Athletico Spizz 80, and maybe something else if they lasted that long.

    1. If you put a cat on a tray, rotating, just north of the equator, and then walk the rotating cat across the line to the southern hemisphere, will it reverse direction?
      (I’ve seen video of enterprising tour guides doing the equivalent with a bucket of water in East Africa ; it’s obviously a trick performed by sleight of hand. Training a cat to do the same would be … time consuming.)

  4. It would be cruel to deny Orson the laser pointer. He’ll complain bitterly if you stop the red dot before he’s done with it. He knows you cause the red dot to happen, and if it vanishes that he can meow at you until you make it reappear.

  5. Now I’m left wondering if Baihu might go for that.

    He seems to like laser pointers about as much as any other toy. He might get bored with them faster. I’m pretty sure he’s figured out the connection between the pointer and the dot and me and all the rest, but he doesn’t mind that any more than he minds that the feather or fake mouse or whatever is tied with string to the wand.

    Hmmm…thinking of it, I’m not sure I’ve ever given him a chance to chase one of those mouse-sized remote control toy cars…might need to find a local toy store….


      1. No, I don’t! I’d like to think Baihu’s smart enough to have figured it out right away, obviating the need for such an epiphany.

        …and, right now, he’s informing me that I need to brush his teeth….


  6. Cat seems to be enjoying itself, they don’t have to chase if they don’t want to.

    Foil balls are popular with my cats, especially a plastic/foil xmas decoration that came of the tree one year.

  7. The real question is this: Do such cats go one direction in the Northern Hemisphere and the opposite direction in the Southern Hemisphere?

    I must have an answer to this.

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