Liam lives in England and has a cat. As all people owned by cats know, warm, feline-posterior-sized electronic devices are irresistible to cats worldwide, and the DSL modem/router thingy provided by his Internet service provider, Be, is no exception. The problem is that this particular router doesn’t work very well with a cat on top of it. He made a joking forum post that featured a photo of his cat communing with the router and pleaded for a decoy router so he could keep his cat happy but also have functional Internet. Astonishingly…. the company complied. But only if he sent them more pictures of his cat.
His original post, as submitted to Reddit, read as follows:
I’m having a problem with my router.
The problem is the router is apparently very attractive to my cat. She sleeps on top of it for most of the day and frequently knocks the aerial about, taking my wireless network down.
She stays in the position shown above for hours, with the top of her head against the top of the router, as if she’s interfacing with it somehow.
I’m sick of my internet going down all the time due to this – is there a fix?
I was thinking perhaps Be could send me a decoy router, then I could hide the real one somewhere else. I’m not sure if she could tell the difference.
He received an email.
I’m contacting you regarding your post on our forum.
For many years this issue has bothered our customers. As you can see in the tread [sic] it is not only the BeBox susceptible to such feline interferences. We have brainstormed this for a few hours, but regrettably we were unable to find any plausible solution.
We decided to send you a decoy router as you requested, however we will need some proof that the cat in the picture is a real one. Can you please send us more cute pictures of the aggressor.
Also we will need appropriate address for the decoy router to be sent.
Please be aware that in case you decide to cancel your service we will not be able to leave the decoy router with you and you will have to discuss this matter with your new ISP.
After sending the new router, Be support explained:
About the decoy function, one possible solution will be…plug both and switch them on, then see which one is attracting the feline aggressor and then plug the DSL cable in the other router.
Another possible solution is to stack them so the upper router takes the aggro. Of course the final decision should be based on the current situation.
It is not a problem if the router have cat food properties, as (as we stated in the beginning) this is ongoing issue, so we might be able to re-use the router for the same purpose.
Sure, this works for now, until the cat figures out that she’s no longer able to directly interface with the Internet. Then there’ll be trouble.
Really, this opens up an entire secondary market for devices that power on but aren’t operational in any way. Imagine entire warehouses at Comcast filled with designated decoy cable modems.