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Tag: animal companion

Take your pet to work, even if it’s extremely ill-tempered and beastly

Proposal: a system for virtually bringing pets into the office

Pet owners with 9-to-5 jobs may find that they miss their noble animal companion during work hours.

Some workplaces will allow well-behaved animals to hang out at work, but that is usually limited to dogs and draft animals. In any case, this addresses only a small subset of all possible domesticated animals.

However, with this new solution, we need not worry about badly-behaved animals, coworkers with allergies, or any other issues.


  1. The user must construct a “home office” environment that matches their work environment. For example, if there is a desk, a chair, and a monitor at work, those must also be present in the “home office.”
  2. This “home office” is actually just an environment where the user’s pet will dwell during work hours.
  3. The home office will contain many cameras (the blue rectangles in Fig. 1), which will reconstruct the exact location of the pet in the home office environment. This could be done with a technology similar to the Microsoft Kinect (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinect).
  4.  Finally, while at work, the user will wear a VR headset at all times. The headset will superimpose the home image of the pet on top of the user’s identical desk at work. It is possible that the desk and furnishings at home may need to be painted green in order to “green screen”-out the non-pet elements of the home office.


Fig 1: The user’s home office (or wherever their pet lives) will need to be configured with the exact same layout and furniture as the user’s desk / space at work. Cameras (in blue, above) will determine the exact orientation of the pet and render it in a 3-dimensional voxel space. Note: constructing the home office would probably be easy for most office jobs, but if a user’s job is (for example) deep-sea giant squid inspector, it could be more difficult to affordably re-create the work environment at home.


Fig 2: Here, we can see the virtual-reality-goggles-wearing pet owner at the right. The cat image appears real to the headset wearer, but is naturally invisible to everyone else. Since the home office has the same layout as the work office, the pet’s actions at home will appear to match the work environment; e.g., the pet could climb onto the work table or monitor, since there is actually a real-world analogue of those objects in the pet’s environment at home.

Note that it may also be possible to run this system in reverse; a pet could also wear a virtual-reality headset and obtain a “holographic” image of its owner at work.

PROS: Allows a pet owner to get 8+ additional hours of pet enjoyment out of a day.

CONS: May require substantial real-estate to be dedicated to the “home office” pet environment.


Bonus figure: Here is a potential patent application illustration for this amazing idea.

Breaking news: You are a terrible pet owner if you don’t address your cat’s neuroses with the soothing safety of cat-patterned furniture


Although there are many counter-examples, cats are often unpredictable and frequently skittish. Here, we theorize that this neurotic pet behavior is due to the cat’s lack of feeling safe in the domestic environment, and propose a possible solution, which we refer to as CATMOUFLAGE.

The theory: Cats are skittish and unpredictable because they are stressed

This unsubstantiated theory posits that if the cat could feel safer, it would be happier and less stressed out.

One way to provide safety to a relatively small animal is to provide it with a hiding place.

This new system aims to provide safe cat-suitable spaces across an entire house, and works as follows:

  1. You take a picture of your cat (Fig. 1).
  2. You upload this picture on the “catmouflage” web site.
  3. From this same web site, you order a set of sofa covers, carpets, bedspreads, drapes, bathmats, etc. (Fig. 3).
  4. The experts at Catmouflage Inc. will then adapt your cat’s patterning and custom-print suitable furniture coverings that match your specific cat’s coloration (Fig. 4).
  5. Now your   cat can blend in to your carpet and favorite chair, which will allow it to feel secure and safe.


Fig 1: Some sort of mini-panther. Look how stressed it looks! Clearly it needs Catmouflage™. The customer will take a picture of it and then upload it to the Catmouflage web site.


Fig 2: Next, the customer orders cat-patterned versions of the above furnishings.


Fig 3: Finally, in 2 to 4 weeks, the new furnishings arrive. The cat can blend in and feel extremely secure in the indoor environment, just as it would have felt at home in the jungles and pyramids where its ancestors lived.


Fig 4: An alternative color scheme for a person with a “Garfield”-colored cat.


This detailed business plan is almost guaranteed to succeed.

PROS: Solves feline neuroses with this one weird tip.

CONS: May increase the frequency of accidentally sitting on your cat .

Amazing new alternative to kenneling for pets will shock and amaze you. Freeze-a-pet™

The issue:

Pet ownership can sometimes be problematic in today’s mobile society.

For example: if a person has to leave on a business trip and doesn’t have friends or family to take care of their dog / cat / capybara / etc., they have to deal with the hassle of kenneling their treasured beast. This can be expensive for the owner and unpleasant for the animal in question!


There are some frogs that can apparently survive in a state of suspended animation at near-freezing temperatures.

Also, bears are known to hibernate for months in the winter.

The proposal:

A “Freeze-A-Pet” would be a regular pet, except that it can hibernate when exposed to cold temperatures.

Presumably this type of pet could be created using the same “insert frog DNA into animal” technology used to create the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Easy!

pet-1-unfrozenFig 1. A photorealistic rendering of a “freeze-a-pet”-compatible cat. Not pictured: frog DNA.

So if a person needs to go on out of town for a while, they just stick their pet into their freezer (or perhaps fridge), and the pet hibernates until the owner returns. Problem solved!

pet-2-frozenFig 2. Artist’s rendition of a freeze-a-pet in hibernation, Han-Solo-style.

In the event of a power outage, the fridge could be programmed to pop the door open and (optionally) send a text message and/or sound an audible alarm.

PROS: Makes pet ownership much more feasible for busy individuals.

CONS: The kennel lobby (“Big Kennel”) would probably oppose any development in this field, which might make it hard to find funding and avoid regulatory hurdles.