Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Cat Scan

Today's heartwarming tale of animals and technology: I had a call from my local vet this morning to say that someone had handed in my cat, who ran away a month ago.

It's doubtful I'd ever have got him back if he hadn't been fitted with a microchip, which is registered with a central database whom you can phone to report missing animals. The vet scanned the chip, which brought up the fact that he was missing, together with my mobile number. Bingo! One very happy cat owner. Hurrah for subcutaneous tracking devices!*

One very disgruntled, manky and skinny cat, though. Bless him.

UPDATE: mine did only get as far as the next street, unlike this one (thanks LC for that).


* Sorry, identification devices (thanks Stef)

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22 comments:

Wyndham said...

Subcutaneous. I like that word. May i use it myself soon?

patroclus said...

Only if you use it to tell someone in an extraordinarily nerdy fashion that you've got the hots for them.

"Oh baby, I like you so much it's subcutaneous."

tuqnxuem: every single Latin preposition rolled into one handy word.

Wyndham said...

Yes, I'll do exactly that! Thank you!

Stef the engineer said...

Wonderful news. Is it wrong to be so cheered up by cat news? As the 'owner' of two myself, I'm glad this confirms our decision to get them chipped.
(They're tracking devices 'though. They're passive, unpowered things - which is why you need to get the reader close to them. Is this more detail than you want?)

Stef the engineer said...

Sorry; I meant NOT tracking devices. Of course. You knew that.

patroclus said...

Thanks Stef. Hmm, there goes my reputation as a knowledgeable tech writer...

belladona said...

Animals and technology part two - http://animal.discovery.com/cams/pandavidr.html (yeah yeah, one day I'll remember the html or whatever it is to post proper links) - tiny panda. Aww.
No, I still haven't finished my packing.

Pashmina said...

Now I'm thinking your cat is part feline, part machine. Bionic even.

Must calm down. Very glad to hear you've been reunited however.

Tabby Rabbit said...

Welcome back 'Catroclus'.

Just think, he's probably re-acquainting himself with your house now (ie pissing all over it and scratching your furniture). Awwww..

patroclus said...

Pash: Cyborg cat! Cool.

GreatSheElephant said...

aww, fantastic news.

Stef, you work in RFID?

cello said...

Aaah! Who could resist a cockle-warming tale of feline/human interdependence for the festive season. Can he come tomorrow?

And you do realise that subcutaneous was a Green Wing word, don't you. Episode 1 if I'm not mistaken (where are you Poppy?). It was probably the trigger for the deep love that followed.

ScroobiousScrivener said...

Awwww! Must get kitties microchipped immediately. (My two in SA were, not sure why I haven't got round to it for the new lot.) What wonderful news.

"I have subcutaneous possession of you..." harder to hum. Sounds creepier, though, and therefore better.

surly girl said...

oh lord, now it's going to go off and be all techy and i'll sit here idly wondering when we can talk about shoes again.

patroclus said...

"I have subcutaneous possession of you" is *exactly* the phrase I was grasping for, Scroobious, but I just can't get my brain working today.

It's brilliant. Thank you. I must use it forthwith.

Me said...

YAY! The cat came back - not quite the very next day but it came back none the less. Are you going to post a picture of your long-lost family member?????

patroclus said...

Ahh, thanks Dalmatica - and welcome!

Might post a picture of the manky beast at some point. Thus consolidating my status as Single Woman Who Lives With Cats (And An Electro-Punk Rock Chick).

Stef the engineer said...

GSE: I currently work for a company which has (correction; HAD - they've just sold it) an interest in an 'almost competing technology' (tuned magnetics - things like those anti-theft strips on CDs) to RFID. (Along with many, many other things. One of the things I'll miss is the range of stuff I get to do.) In my view, they haven't paid enough attention to RFID, despite my yelling long and loud about it, as it currently aims for a slightly different market, and their core market didn't express much interest, due to the CURRENT disadvantages of the technology. (Primarily, unit cost, and detector complexity/power requirements compared to magnetics.) In my view, unless they buck their ideas up, RFID will take over their core market too, as technology improves, since RFID is orders of magnitude more flexible. Classic "The Innovators Dilemma" stuff. (Great book, IMO.)
Of course, I'll be "moving on" (or more properly "be moved on") at the end of the year, and one of my current options for the future involves uses for similar technology, in different contexts. I think it will be one of those ubiquitous things within the next five years, or even less.
(Sorry to use comments on the safe return of cats to wibble about this, but I think it's such a cool technology! And it's not just cool for cats.)

surly girl said...

see. don't say i didn't warn you.

patroclus said...

Hey, all manner of discussion is welcome here, and the geekier the better, in my opinion!

surly girl said...

*slopes off*

ScroobiousScrivener said...

P, extra points for coming up with a decent scanning rhyme. Do let me know how that works out.