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Willie Norris the Cat – and the Mouse

December 22nd, 2008 · 7 Comments

This is totally non-food related – it’s a tale of wonder for folks with cats and wireless electronics, however.

My very needy tuxedo cat, who must have my undivided attention the moment I sit down at the computer, has incredibly precise and “cat”-astrophic aim. If he leaps up on the desk to my left to stand on the keyboard, he lands without fail on my power key. I go dark, and invariably lose everything I had been typing. If I were vaguely violent, he would be the late Willie Norris.

If, however, he lands on the right side of the desk before turning around to crouch on the directional keys, he flings off my Microsoft wireless mouse (model 3000 if you care). It clatters to the terrazzo floor, its lid springing open and flying in one direction, the body in another, and the battery rolling across the room and up under some furniture beyond arm’s reach, of course.

He’s done this no fewer than 90 times. You’d think by now this mouse would be dead — it’s hard plastic and probably not designed to be jettisoned to marble surfaces at frequent intervals. It’s a 30-inch straight drop, and the cat manages to kick it at least 2 feet beyond the desk, so this sucker’s well airborne before it crashes and breaks open.

Miraculously, there’s barely a scratch on it. No chips — no malfunction. It looks brand new.

To put it back into service, I unplug the USB driver, and stick it into the bottom of the mouse. The red light comes on again and I reconnect the USB. I’m back in business while Willie gets a Time Out in the bathroom.

This mighty mouse is one of the sturdiest, most amazing electronic gadgets I own. I’ve had it two years – I paid $20 for it on sale with a battery while in Sebring on assignment. I hate the laptop’s touchpad and went to Radio Shack to buy a wired mouse; the salesguy there convinced me that the wireless mouse was the better answer for a laptop.

I wish my HP Pavilion laptop were built so well. I love the HP — it’s been the best investment I’ve made in computers in a while…and I likely will get another one in time.

This one, however, has a cracked case — it cracked at the hinge all on its own. Willie is in the clear.

By researching it on the web, I learned that the heat buildup in the thing sitting on a flat surface makes the plastic brittle at the hinge joint, and pop! – the case cracks apart. Shame and boo, hiss to HP for not fixing them, though, since they know it’s a problem.

But my mighty Microsoft mouse is working like a charm and it fits every laptop I use. Bravo, Microsoft! You actually got something that works as it should!

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7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Charles Keefer // Dec 22, 2008 at 11:54 am

    So if the computer case heats up and cracks all on its own, why are you thinking about buying another one? Get a Mac. They don’t crack.


  • 2 Jan Norris // Dec 22, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Au contraire, mon ami!

    One of my Cox sisters, Lou Ann Frala, has a Macbook with a cracked case. It split at the juncture of the screen and keyboard; same excuse, I hear. A few of her Macbook-owning friends report the same exact split on their Macbooks.

    Hehehe yourself, bucko!

  • 3 Jan Norris // Dec 22, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    …and as far as getting a new Pavilion, I think they’ve corrected the heating problem in newer models.

    I could be persuaded to go Mac, I like ’em, equally well. But would have to change over a bunch of stuff, including my web site platform — no time at all for this stuff — too busy dealing with these #$%^cats!

  • 4 jimmyb // Dec 22, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Sounds like Willie need his-case CRACKED!! and HEATED-UP!! Just kidding I know Willie very well and have seen him in action and have felt like “heating up his case” after numerous “bites and scratches” to the point of “crack-ing” him across the skull!! But needless to say, the little “jewel” of a mouse keeps on working! AMAZING!!

  • 5 Lurch // Dec 22, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Maybe Chuck can solve this one. Do computers emit a frequency only cats can hear that attracts them? Mine can be asleep at the other end of the house, but the minute I sit down at my computer, they’re walking in front of the keyboard and rubbing against the hand that holds the mouse.

    Or maybe cats realize that when you’re at the computer, you’re a captive audience and aren’t likely to walk off on them……

  • 6 Charles Keefer // Dec 23, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Cats have a built-in sensor that tells them when your full attention is directed at ANYTHING other than them. Computer, newspaper, homework – doesn’t matter. If it requires your concentration, their sensor goes off.

    Having been owned by several cats, I have empirical evidence of this.

    I just don’t have a solution other than scratch the cat.

  • 7 bevsnow // Dec 24, 2008 at 10:48 am

    I keep my laptop on top of an old mousepad so it is elevated a little off the table…enough to keep some air circulating under parts of it. The pad also keeps the laptop from gradually creeping across the table, an old trick from using the sewing machine.

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