Vol. 01: Reader Input

Our regular feature with reader comments sent to the editors of MAKE.

MAKE: Excerpt

Because this is our first issue, we don't have any feedback from readers yet. However, lots of people have written us in anticipation of the debut issue. Here's our favorite: a story from Jeffrey Haemer, a MAKE newsletter subscriber.

Thinking about MAKE brings warm memories of an old friend, BA, the initials not being for anonymity but because that's what he goes by.

BA cut the legs off his sofa so he wouldn't have to sweep under it. It's where he spent a lot of his time.

One day, I was over at his house, visiting, when a loud buzzer went off.

"What's that?"

"Aw, that's my cat-burglar alarm."

BA had put a cat door in an eye-level window for his cat, with a ramp up to it on the outside of the house. It entered into the utility room, so she could jump down onto the washer, and fro there to the floor. Going out was easy, too. No reason a cat needs a ground-level entrance, and it keeps out small dogs.

The part about keeping out dogs worked, but he'd begun seeing strange cats in his house. They'd discover the door and come in to eat his cat's food and escape the cold Colorado winter.

After thinking about the problem, he jury-rigged a step-plate just inside the cat door, then hooked it to a big capacitor and a buzzer.

His own cat would come right through the door. She lived there. Strange cats, however, would come halfway through and stand there looking around to see if the coast was clear. This meant they'd stand on the touch plate for long enough to discharge the capacitor and set off the buzzer.

The alarm was still sounding, so BA reached down next to the couch, picked up a plastic squirt gun, then leaned back over the arm of the couch, looked down the hall into the utility room, took aim, and shot the intruder, who quickly pulled back out the door and ran off.

I guess I'd better go hunt up his address and give him a gift subscription for Christmas, eh?

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