The things we do for our cats.
Our writer Saya Togashi often likes to try new things and collect unique and interesting items, and not being one to hog it all to herself, she also enjoys letting her two cats in on the action too.
▼ Saya’s cats
However, there was one item to give them in particular that had always been in the back of her mind. While perusing cat videos on YouTube she would often see one in which a special treadmill was set up and the felines could bolt like cheetahs in the comfort of their own home. Saya wanted her cats to also have that luxury, but the Cat Exercise Wheel made by US-based One Fast Cat would cost her anywhere from 40,000 to 60,000 yen (US$290 – $440) to import to Japan.
Still, the sight of her own cats striding like their noble African cousins was too much to pass up and she finally took the plunge. It took 10 days for the package to arrive, which isn’t that long considering the distance, but in this era of same-day delivery it felt like an eternity to our writer.
The box was also somewhat banged up and had a couple footprints on it, suggesting that someone had stepped on it more than once.
▼ The box also can be converted into a cat house by cutting along the dotted lines
The English lettering all over the box was also a little overwhelming for our Japanese-language writer, especially the bold claim: “MAKE YOUR CAT FAMOUS!”
She eventually figured out that it just meant she could post videos of her cats running on her Instagram account. That would be nice, but first she knew she had a lot of assembly required of her given the small size of the box.
Luckily, the instructions weren’t in English, but used a universal pictogram format like Lego or Ikea.
No tools were necessary either. All the parts simply snapped together. She liked that idea, because screws may become loose from vibration which would mean trouble for her little cheetahs to be.
First, she had to snap together two rings that resembled toy train tracks.
Each ring was a little over a meter (3.3 feet) in diameter, so she needed to clear a lot of floor space in her modestly sized apartment to make it all fit. Her next step was to slide in a bunch of curved panels into the top of one ring.
In doing so a circular wall was erected.
Then, the other ring was to snap on top of the other edge of the wall. This sounds fairly easy and Saya compared to putting the lid on a cup of coffee.
However, a cup has a fairly uniform shape on top. This cat treadmill, on the other hand, was a series of slats that didn’t always stay in line with the others. When pushing the ring down on one side, it would make a part on the other side pop up, and since the whole thing was over a meter wide, she couldn’t hold all the sides at the same time by herself.
It took her 30 minutes and a fair bit of cursing to finally get it all together. She also realized at this point that there would be no way for her to take apart again. Hopefully, the cats will like it.
She was pretty exhausted at this point, but luckily the remaining parts were pretty easy to put together. It looked pretty sturdy too, so sturdy that she wondered if her pets had the cat power to get it going.
Saya’s cats are a pair of brothers, and while neither has the boundless energy of kittens any more, at least they had weight on their side to get the wheel going.
Just as she expected, the younger brother was interested in the new toy at first. Likely, the older brother would begrudgingly want to try it too, motivated by jealousy.
Saya clutched her hands in excitement as the cat carefully inspected the wheel. “Go ahead…” she whispered, “get on!”
However, he did not get on.
Shortly after, the older brother approached the wheel.
“Come on…” our writer urged the cat, “try it out!”
However, he did not try it out.
It kind of stood to reason. How are cats supposed to know instinctively how a treadmill worked anyway? With a little time and curiosity, they’ll get it. Probably, if she just left it out overnight they’d figure it out during their midnight prowl.
The next day, Saya saw no signs that the wheel had been used. The cats’ favorite box, which she had paid nothing for, had noticeably been played with overnight though.
Another day passed and still no use, so our writer tried some more aggressive tactics to coax her animals onto her new 40,000-yen objet.
However, they still wouldn’t get on, and appeared to have absolutely no desire to ever do so.
Saya checked around online, and learned from other owners that it sometimes takes a while for cats to warm up to it, so she’ll keep an eye on them for any developments in the future. For now, she’ll just enjoy he new piece of contemporary art.
The Cat Exercise Wheel, however, had lived up to its promise of making Saya’s cats famous as they now have their second feature article on SoraNews24. They’re a regular pair of furry Mr. sato now.
Related: One Fast Cat
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]