Vol. 1, Issue 6, June 17, 2003
Inventor Killed at Cat Show
Science took a step backwards yesterday when enraged cat show attendees lynched a promising young inventor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Caleb Grigson, a computer scientist with degrees in linguistics and animal behavior, attended the 2003 Cat Fancy show with the intent of marketing his new invention, a device that allows real-time translation both to and from cats.
"You can basically talk to your cat, and it will understand you. Likewise, the cat's responses are processed through software and a speech synthesizer in real time. So an actual conversation can be had," said Grigson in a press statement prepared before the fatal show.
"The problem," said an anonymous source from the show, "is that Grigson didn't actually try it out before coming to the show."
This is not because the device failed to work. On the contrary, it performed, according to police reports, as well as if not better than advertised. The problem is that Grigson had not considered what the cats might say.
"Love you? Heck no. I'd eat you if you weren't so damn big," said Marchessa Yolanda Principessa des Astres, a Siamese cat from New Jersey, to her owner and handler, Fran Dershowitz. "Well, I'd bat you around first."
Apparently, the cat-owner conversations made possible by Grigson's device revealed that cats aren't as warm and lovable as people prefer to believe, but are in fact miniature, asocial predators with an assortment of juvenile traits bred into them which people mistakenly interpret as personality.
"Purring is actually the social equivalent of belching," said a Maine Coon cat to its astonished owner. "We do it when we're bored, not happy." Other conversations revealed that many cats have a propensity for secretly urinating in open beverage containers and that pretty much every scratch inflicted on cat owners is deliberate and meant as a personal affront.
The cat fanciers destroyed the device, and Grigson apparently died a short time later from unidentified pummeling-related causes. However, due to a high number of cat owners among responding officials, no charges have been filed.