Cat elevators
December 5, 2014 5:13 PM   Subscribe

This is my first comment on Metafilter. You have made my evening. I didn't even know my Emmett needed an elevator, but I'm ready to head to the hardware store. Thank you.
posted by banjonaut at 5:36 PM on December 5, 2014 [48 favorites]

I saw this one. The killer tipped his hand when he was smoking a cigarette instead of gawking like all the other neighbors.
posted by I Havent Killed Anybody Since 1984 at 5:39 PM on December 5, 2014 [9 favorites]

I think the most common form of cat elevator is actually a person.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:46 PM on December 5, 2014 [25 favorites]

I think I'd want to rig up a ratchet mechanism of some kind, perhaps using a climbing ascender or a comealong mechanism. Maybe a modest boom.

That said, this is the best thing.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 5:53 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

Someone make a montage of these with Love in an Elevator recorded as "cat in an elevator" as the soundtrack.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 6:01 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]

Growing up, we had an inside/outside cat that would appear mysteriously on the second story balcony howling to be let in. Nobody ever let him out on to that balcony. One day, we were outside and we witnessed him climbing up the side of the house. Clearly, we would have saved ourselves some repairs if we'd have had the proper elevator.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:04 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]

I'm watching most of those people pulling the rope up by hand and all I can think is that it might be less hazardous to the kitty to pull the cat up via a simple pulley system.
posted by surazal at 6:13 PM on December 5, 2014 [6 favorites]

Belay that cat!

Joey Michaels, I enjoyed this related video of spider cats climbing walls.
posted by moonmilk at 6:20 PM on December 5, 2014 [10 favorites]

Russia seems complicated.
posted by angerbot at 6:24 PM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]

Note to self: never, ever show our cats the spider cats video. They don't need any ideas.
posted by rtha at 6:25 PM on December 5, 2014

The regular people elevators are less efficient, but you do get some skritches and ear rubs on the way up, which is nice.

Cats are very good at training people.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:28 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]

Installing one of these is now on my bucket list.
posted by argonauta at 6:39 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

This has deeply shaken my scepticism towards the theory of intelligent design.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:41 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

We named my cat Fezzik because the first day we got her, she climbed the feline equivalent of the Cliffs of Insanity: the 7 foot tall bookcases! Then she got stuck and we had to rescue her.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:45 PM on December 5, 2014 [10 favorites]

Maybe a modest boom.

If you use a loud boom, the cat will climb the wall all by itself.
posted by uosuaq at 6:47 PM on December 5, 2014 [11 favorites]

Installing one of these is now on my bucket list.

Surely more of a basket list?
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:07 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

When I was a kid we had a cat that would climb up the back side of curtains, between the curtain and the wall. You would just see this odd lump moving up the curtain until it was about five or six feet off of the floor, at which point it would decide it was stuck and meow piteously until someone walked over to rescue it.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:10 PM on December 5, 2014 [8 favorites]

I grew up with a cat which would scale screen windows from the outside, which earned her the nickname Spider-Cat. The real surprise came when you saw her hanging from a window on the second story. Nobody ever figured it out and as far as I know, Spider-Cat took the secret to her grave.
posted by Spatch at 7:18 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

How do they all know how to do this? Were they trained?
They just get right in!

It's really an amazing combination of the three universals of cats:
1. Curiosity
2. Giving zero fucks (except re: noisy children and jerky animals)
3. Magnetic attraction to cat-sized containers
posted by Sys Rq at 7:24 PM on December 5, 2014 [27 favorites]

I can't believe i'm the first to make this joke -

I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their buckets, or why.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:28 PM on December 5, 2014 [16 favorites]

...and somewhat related, my absolute favorite blog on the whole internet: Cat Ladders.
posted by workerant at 7:35 PM on December 5, 2014 [5 favorites]

Also, I know I can't have been the only miscreant child who would put the cat in a bucket and then swing the bucket around in circles so as to then watch the incredibly dizzy cat wobble off in drunk spirals. I'd feel bad about it except that every cat we ever had would come and jump in the bucket when called and seemed to enjoy the entire experience.

You can do the same thing just by holding the cat at arm's length and spinning in circles, but you had better be sure that it likes you because otherwise your hand will get shredded.

I used a paper grocery bag once and that did not end well for anyone.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:36 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]

When I was growing up, we had an indoor-outdoor cat that would insist (by means of hurling herself at my head) on going out around 2 a.m. I would explain it was late, I wanted to sleep, it was cold outside and she'd regret it, etc etc. Eventually she'd win, because I was exhausted, and because my door was broken and I couldn't lock her out of my room to make her stop. I'd trek downstairs and let her out. After an hour or two, she'd be tired of the great outdoors, so she would climb the pine tree in the front yard, walk around the roof, find my window, and cry at it until I opened it (usually on the coldest possible nights, by this time at 3:30 a.m.) and let her in.

One night this happened, and I started to open the window, and discovered she was actually sleeping in bed with me, and there was a completely unknown cat peering in.

Three weeks after that, it was a raccoon checking things out.

Honestly I wish we'd had a bucket elevator, it would have been so much easier than all those late night trips downstairs, but I was too sleep deprived to think of it.
posted by instead of three wishes at 7:44 PM on December 5, 2014 [14 favorites]

You're missing a previously.
posted by vespabelle at 9:11 PM on December 5, 2014

Dip Fish, my mother and uncle reportedly did this with their cat when they were kids, but with pillow-cases used as a sling aimed at the couch. Apparently the cat thought this was great fun, since she repeatedly jumped back into the pillow-case for another round.
posted by WaylandSmith at 9:25 PM on December 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

If you framed the post as videos of people fishing for stray cats, I might've believed you.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 9:50 PM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]

Cat heaven is a place with many boxes and always more Up.
posted by The Whelk at 10:09 PM on December 5, 2014 [12 favorites]

I never knew this was a thing. I am still not sure it is a thing, but I liked it. I guess you lower them in the basket, they know enough to get back in for the ride back. I had a cat growing up that could climb a vertical ladder on the wall for two stories that wouldn't have come close to getting into a swinging basket.

Thanks for the post.
posted by 724A at 10:48 PM on December 5, 2014

This video of an automatic cat elevator appears to be a glaring omission from the original post. :3
posted by Aleyn at 2:15 AM on December 6, 2014 [10 favorites]

In college, I had a boyfriend who lived with his parents in this two story house in New Orleans. The kind where the ground floor is called "the basement".

I stayed over while the parents were out of town, and we were enjoying a night in a double bed instead of my crappy dorm single bed, when I hear this meowing.

"Where's your cat?"
"Why does it sound like it's on the windowsill?"

Yes, the cat was on the windowsill. No obvious way to climb up, no cat elevator, just a crazy cat who liked to interrupt.

Thanks, cat. Really.
posted by Katemonkey at 3:48 AM on December 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Spoiler alert. Have-a-heart trap?

There was a storm drain on the road near our house. The road was on a steep hillside, so that water runoff from the road dropped straight down a 70 foot shaft. Then the drain went straight sideways maybe 100 feet and exited on the hillside below the road.

One day as I walked near the drain entrance I became aware of a lot of very plaintive but very faint meowing. The drain shaft had a concrete slab on top, and a big metal manhole cover. I went home for a good strong flashlight and a pry bar. And my dad. Which was a good thing because it took both of us to move the cover enough to point the flashlight down the shaft.

Even with the strong flashlight all we saw at the bottom of the shaft was darkness. Another trip home, for a blanket to cut down on the competing daylight. When I was looking down the shaft using the flashlight and covered with the blanket I saw darkness--and, just barely, a pair of eyes. Very small, very close together.

A kitten. It couldn't possibly have fallen down that shaft without being badly hurt. I'm certain it had wandered into the opening of the long horizontal part of the drain, and kept walking until it saw the light coming down the vertical part of the shaft from the road. At that point it could no longer see the light coming from the way it had entered and would not walk back in that direction. (We located the drain exit and called and called, and left food. No luck.)

My dad had the notion of moving the manhole cover some more so we could lower a rope with a cardboard box (and a food dish) on the end. This at least got the kitten fed. When the box was down and resting on the bottom of the shaft, kitty was willing to get in the box and chow down. But when we tried to lift it back up again kitty got out of the box. Arrrgh. This went on into a second day. Heavy rain was predicted for the following day. Both of us had seen the torrent of road runoff that went into this drain in a rainstorm and felt sure the kitten would be drowned, nine lives or no.

The catch-em-alive trap was my idea and I am excessively proud of it. We upped our game on the bait, going from catfood to sardines. But it was a miserable job getting the trap down the drain shaft. As we lowered the trap the slightest touch against the side of the shaft would spring it. Even if we could no longer see it we could hear the distinctive clack and know we had to pull it back up, reset it, and try again.

The end of the tale is kind of flat and anticlimactic. We did at last get the trap to the bottom so that the rope went slack. We expected a bit of a wait, but no such thing. It was barely down and the rope slack when we heard it spring. So we pulled it back up and found that it was now indeed a kitty elevator. In many years of fishing I don't remember a single fish on my line that made me as happy.
posted by jfuller at 6:32 AM on December 6, 2014 [57 favorites]

Aw jfuller, you both get a special place in heaven for that one.
posted by emjaybee at 8:23 AM on December 6, 2014

Great story, jfuller! What'd you do with the kitty?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:27 AM on December 6, 2014

This video of an automatic cat elevator appears to be a glaring omission from the original post. :3

I had it in there originally, but ended up cutting it (and a few others) in a fit of "but am I overwhelming them with cat elevators????"
posted by automatic cabinet at 8:42 AM on December 6, 2014 [6 favorites]

in a fit of "but am I overwhelming them with cat elevators????"

This may be the the most ridiculous question ever on MetaFilter.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:28 AM on December 6, 2014 [17 favorites]

> Great story, jfuller! What'd you do with the kitty?

We tried to adopt it but a preexisting cat (a siamese cross from the animal shelter and a creature of steely determination) wasn't having any of that. I had to shop it around the neighborhood and did find a neighbor lady who said she wanted it and would take it in. It appeared to flourish. I saw it often and when we moved away from that house six years later it was deep into cat-hood. And a bit on the plump side, actually. I think it may have found a very indulgent owner. Though dad and I surely hadn't set any sort of good example on that. Sardines, forsooth.
posted by jfuller at 10:06 AM on December 6, 2014 [7 favorites]

What about snakes? You just wrap them up in a blanket, tie the edges together, and hoist away. If a few escape along the way, that's ok as long as a couple make it up to your room. (Because my mom wouldn't let me bring them in through the door, ok?)
posted by sneebler at 10:39 AM on December 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

My cat, who was a jerk but who I loved, died young and unexpectedly two weeks ago. I watched every one of these silly elevator videos and thank you for them. <3
posted by kostia at 12:50 PM on December 6, 2014 [7 favorites]

You there, servant! I have finished my business here. Fetch my chariot!
posted by Flunkie at 1:05 PM on December 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

We had a cat who liked to come and go via a specific second story window. There was an up tree and a down tree. Neither were near the preferred window, but he would walk along the gutter to reach them.
posted by carmicha at 2:20 PM on December 6, 2014

« Older Tales from Failed Anatomies   |   Gritty, not glossy: 70s films Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments