One of my cats, Bebop, is quite a little trouble maker. We bought the cats an automatic feeder because the other one, Ella, can’t control her food intake properly! Unfortunately, it seems that the testing process implemented by the designers of this device did not include putting it near a clever cat. After only a few minutes, Bebop stuck his arm into the feeder and was able to easily retrieve food on demand! I spent a while designing a block which I attached inside the outlet such that the food could still come out but cat hands could not go in. Bebop was not pleased that this method of his was thwarted. His next plan was to tip the entire device over so the lid would pop off and the food would spill out. It worked exceedingly well. Now it was war! I built a base which I bungee corded the device to. Bebop certainly didn’t like this. He would constantly snap the bungee cords (which made an obnoxiously loud pop), and finally resorted to knocking the whole contraption over, base and all. My next move was to mount the device+base to the wall. This worked quite well, until he figured out how to spin the lid off (which, without thumbs, I’m still not sure is possible!). That was it – I was going to win this war with the next move. I built a full enclosure for the device. However, I outsmarted myself on this one because though it worked to keep Bebop out, when it was time to refill the device, even I couldn’t open it (without a drill). The final iteration involves a hinge with a spring loaded security gate latch. HA! I win! The device has been break-in free for several months now 🙂

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