24 August 2013

How I Vanquished the RP!

RP is now in custody.

How I constructed the cat-trapinator, the video

How the motion detector works
My readers may recall my travails with RP the Cat.

Well, I have finally defeated RP, an animal with a brain the size of a walnut, using my allegedly superior brain.

In my first encounter with RP, as a kitten about 2 years ago,  when we caught her in a "have a heart" type trap.

We brought her in, and when she was released, she ran around the basement at relativistic speeds, and then she beat me up, and ran up into the basement suspended ceiling.

She found her way out of the house the next day, so I chalked it up to experience, until, a couple of months later, when we got our new cats, she started venturing back to eat their food.

Sharon* told me that the cat was going in and out of the house, but I was dubious until until I caught it on time-lapse video.

Well, the other day, I got a frantic call from my wife:  RP had lured Destructo into the ceiling, and she and kids had to rescue him.

So, I decided to get serious about catching the cat.

First, I used a bunch of wire ties to attach the have a heart trap to the travel cage we used to transport Lavi and Tudza when we moved from Texas to Maryland.

Then I put food, water, and a catnip sock in the cage, and we took to locking our cats, Meatball/Mousetrap and Destructo in the bathroom in the evening.

Unfortunately, this did not work. RP was too smart: She stepped over the trigger plate of the trap.

So, I had to figure a way to detect her, and trigger the trap.

First, I bought a remote controlled electrical outlet for twelve bucks at Home Depot.

I plugged my Dremel tool into this outlet, and then tied the business end to the trap plate, so when the power goes on, it triggers the trap.

Then borrowed my Son's phone, and installed Motion Detector Pro, which uses the camera as a motion sensor, turned off sleep mode for the phone (It's under development in settings), and put it on top of the cage.

I then tested the motion detector using our cats, and it worked.

Finally, I got myself a Ustream account, put the Ustream app on my phone, and used my laptop's webcam to stream an image of the cage to the web.

Well, at about 2:00 am Saturday morning, I got the text, and I looked at the video, and the cat was there, so I hit the remote, and headed downstairs.

Much to my surprise, I had caught the cat, so I removed the trap from the cage, put a tray with some kitty litter inside, and went to bed.

Now we have to decide what we do after she gets spayed (she has already had 2-3 litters).

In the short term, we are trying to see if she is amenable to being adopted.

If not, we find her some place far away where she can live as a barn cat.

So, by using more computing power than was available to the Apollo program, I finally managed to catch the cat.

And there was much rejoicing.

*Love of my life, light of the cosmos, she who must be obeyed, my wife.


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