Give the patrolling kitties a voice and people will listen

Friday, October 19, 2007 | 4:00 p.m. CDT; updated 3:34 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

OK, here’s the idea that’s sure to make me millions.

It was inspired by my dog, my cats and my Three Stooges bottle opener.

The dog, usually on alert to all nighttime noises at Rancho DeLirious, didn’t do her job the other morning. My aunt and uncle had spent the night and had slipped out at 6 a.m., hoping to get an early start on their drive to Branson without waking me.

Not to worry. The dog and I slept through their exit.

The cats, however, were there, checking out their every move. No doubt they would have pestered them with kitty questions and told them where to go if they could have.

This is where my idea comes in: Give the patrolling kitties a voice.

The solution lies in the Stooges bottle opener. I bought it — even though I don’t drink beer — just because it gives me a giggle. Touch the inside of the opener and Curly asks, “How ’bout a beer?”

“Soitainly!” replies a fellow Stooge.

“Woo! Woo! Woo! Woo! Woo!” Curly says after taking a drink.

Now take that technology, put that in a little anklet, put that anklet on a pussycat and every time said kitty pounces, out comes, “Woo! Woo! Woo! Woo! Woo!”

What good is that? you may well ask. It depends on what chips you used.

Imagine having chips that gave your kitty the roar of the MGM lion, the snarling growls of a Bengal tiger or the yowl of a mountain lion. That would send any prowlers high-tailing off your property.

Or what if someone sneaking around the house heard Clint Eastwood rasping, “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

Or Bogart warning: “I caught this guy stealing our water. Next time you try that, I’ll let it out of you through little round holes.”

Or John Wayne grunting: “You take chances, my friend.”

And Walter Brennan could cackle: “Never like seein’ strangers. Guess it’s cause no stranger ever good newsed me.”

Just the idea of famous voices seemingly coming out of nowhere could make the kitty an effective security device, whether the words were menacing or not. And we could call it “Cat Got Your Tongue.”

I can see pussycats getting caught up in this, pawing through the catalogs, looking for new voices and new remarks.

Bela Lugosi: “I am Dracula. … I bid you welcome.”

Bette Davis: “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!”

Bogart again: “My, my, my! Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains. You know you’re the second guy I’ve met today that seems to think a gat in the hand means the world by the tail. Put it down, Joe.”

And what ornery kitty wouldn’t want to be Dennis Hopper? “I’m just a hair away from being a serial killer.”

Or Jack Nicholson? I know more than one cat who fancies itself as big a scamp as Jack Nicholson. “I jump from immaculately polite to violent — there’s not much rudeness in between. Rudeness is for amateurs.”

Frankly, the more I think about this, the more I see this getting out of hand. Give a voice to the outdoor cat, and it’s going to sound as if there’s a party going on outside your window all night long or that a fight is about to break out. And if you put one of these things on the indoor cat, just as soon as you fall asleep, the pussycat’s going to leap on the bed and demand:

“How ’bout a beer?”

Sounds like the idea that will make me millions all right — in debt.

Mary Lawrence teaches editing at the Missouri School of Journalism.

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