The Incredible Nuclear Chromatically Selective Cat Flap


“Your cat black?” the quintessentially English man enquired as he strolled past our front flower patch.

I paused in my exertions sweeping Autumn’s leaves into a bag. “Yes,” I grinned.

“Little white bow tie on his neck?”

“He has!” My grin widened.

“Little chap’s been coming into our house and eating our cat’s food,” our neighbour volunteered without rancour. “Nice little chap. Was kissing one of ours on the roof last night. Ours don’t seem to mind him at all. ”

Aghast, I realised that Clive has been dining at two households, though the amount he eats in ours would feed a tiger, never mind a small black cat. Where does he put it all? And his secret life involved sauntering uninvited into someone else’s house. How audacious.

Anyhow, they’ve got magnetic collars on the cats, and a magnetic cat flap. So let’s see if that deters Clive’s sorties.

It was while I was googling cat flap solutions – in a vain attempt to curb my cat’s excesses -that I came across  the most extraordinary gentleman and his cat, Ginger.

His name was Arthur Pedrick, and in the annals of Patent Examiners he is little short of a God.

No-one knows a lot about him. But it seems that the moment he retired from the United Kingdom Patent Office, he began inventing absurd, completely impractical inventions and filing patents for them.

Between his retirement in 1962 and his death in 1976 he filed 162 patents, each more wildly imaginative than the last. And manymanymany of them involved improvement in quality of life for his beloved cat.

One of the most famous was a cat flap connected to a nuclear bomb in space. Though the bomb was an after thought, and Ginger’s idea. Fitted with a colour sensor, it was dubbed chromatically selective – it would admit his own Ginger, but kept the black cat next door out in no uncertain terms.

Ginger and Mr Pedrick were the only two staff at the “One Man Think Tank Nuclear Fusion Research Laboratories”, and Ginger often added value to Mr Pedrick’s inventions by making comments and suggestions. It was his idea to  further the colour sensor on the cat flap and use the concept as a nuclear deterrent.

Ginger’s wry comments were legendary. Like the following in  in Initiating A Controlled Fusion Reaction Using Deuterium And Tritium Pellets In Imploding Bullets Fed With Powerful Laser Beam Pulses, where Mr Pedrick includes a note: “It being the opinion of my Ginger Cat, that those cats that you see sponsoring various brands of tinned cat food on T/V are just as hypocritical as the various actors one sees sponsoring on T/V various commercial products, and in fact my Ginger Cat prefers ordinary Corned Beef to most brands of Cat food.”

Ginger was not the only beneficiary of the prolific inventor’s prowess. Spectacles for chicken and massive curtains which can be let down in case of fire in a high-rise to smother the flames:the ideas were outrageous. And ingenious. And expert in poking fun at the patent system.

But I must make a note to tell the neighbours about the chromatically selective cat flap.


42 thoughts on “The Incredible Nuclear Chromatically Selective Cat Flap

  1. You’re in brilliant form, Kate — sweeping Autumn’s leaves in Spring and then undergoing an interrogation from your neighbor about Clive’s food philandering. My guess about where your cat puts it can be found in the litter box … As for Arthur Pedrick and Ginger, I would love to see a film about those two characters!

  2. Mr Pedrick sure was busy but good for him and his cat work. LOL @ Bond – adorable guy that is!

  3. As we have discovered it is possible to own a cat vicariously – we used to have one visit us regularly falling asleep on H whilst purring – he honestly thought the cat loved him, but the cat was doing the same thing all over the neighbourhood.
    There is a new book just out about the subject called Lost Cat – a true story – by Caroline Paul. Her cat disappeared and she mourned his loss – 6 weeks later the cat nonchalantly waltzed back into their lives as if nothing had changed. She then started tracking him with GPS – the book is the story of what Tibia really got up to!!!

  4. Bond and Big Al stories always make my day. I think you should get a kid’s sized Aston Martin made up for the two of them and send them off in style for their adventures.

  5. The Abstract of GB1426698 (A)–the cat flap connected to the nuclear bomb in space, is hilarious to read, too. It was very intricate, but of course it would need to be very sensitive to actually detect the color of the cat’s fur! I love the gentlemanly way you were addressed in your garden. I think if our cat entered a neighbor’s house there would be threats of violence coming from the other end. I do appreciate the British civility. I encounter it very, very rarely!

  6. Ah, Clive. Up on the neighbors’ roof with one of the gals, was he? We had a cat like that once, Kate. Most of Jennifer’s first grade class got kittens for Christmas before we finally had him “fixed”. We did have a neighbor dog, however, who would jump through our screen door a few times each summer and run around our house. A big, black Lab named Chaney.

    1. Ha! What a lovely affable house visitor, thought their enthusiasm can occasionally be unwittingly destructive. i would have loved to be a fly on the wall, Penny.

  7. I think I love your cat! That is so cool. We have some cats in our neighborhood who visit around. One comes over to our house on a regular basis and visits our “Mom Cat” – even though they are both fixed. They have nice little dates, visit for a while, then he wanders on back home.

    1. Hi MIchael! I love the idea of a nice, uncomplicated, no-strings tryst like your cat has. Bond is a babe in arms: I wonder whether he will be as open when he is a bit older?

  8. What a little scam artist that Clive is. I suppose it’s time to invent a white-bow-tie sensor for the cat flap. I love the story about Mr. Pedrick and Ginger. I never heard of either of them but that patent is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a while.

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