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Sunday, July 30, 2000


A cell phone lets you say 'hello kitty' anytime

My suspicions have been confirmed: Cats need cell phones. If you think cats aren't smart enough to have cell phones, think again. Intelligence has never been a requirement for using a cell phone.

As a matter of fact, cats are a market that has been long overlooked for wireless technology.

I first realized that cats need cell phones when I called home and left a message on the answering machine for my cat. "Frank, hello kitty," I said, "I can't come home until late tonight, so go ahead and eat dinner without me. Serve yourself from the cat food bag." Then it occurred to me that she might not be near the answering machine to hear my message. And if she was listening, she was probably wondering why I was hiding inside the answering machine.

Anyone who has a cat knows that cats are far too lazy to answer telephones. However, if there was a cell phone around their neck, they'd be inclined to answer it because cats like to push buttons. Cats are very good at suddenly changing the TV channel if you leave the remote control lying on the floor, for example.

Cats would love to receive calls too because cats like sounds. Imagine the melodies cats would choose for their phone's ring. The theme song to Felix the Cat, or the TV jingle to their favorite brand of cat food. Or how about, "Garfield! Where's my chocolate doughnut?!"

The new i-mode cell phones could open a Fe-line that would offer information especially for cats:

"Welcome to the Fe-line. For general information about cat owners, press 1; for cat fights, press 2; for grooming shops and veterinarians, press 3; for fashionable collars and leads, press 4; for cleaner litter boxes, press 5; for home delivery of fish sticks, press 6. For the Hello Kitty catalog, press 7; For curiosity that won't kill you, press 8; for the latest gossip on celebrity cats such as "Socks," the presidential cat, or to order the recently released unauthorized biography of Pavlov's cat, press 9.

I also recommend a special help line for cats: "Welcome to the i-mode help line for cats. For information on birthing, press 1; for multiple births, press 2; to talk with Dr. Doolittle, press 3; for death and skinning, press 4; To donate your pelt to science, press 5; Road kill, press 6; Fleas and ticks, push 7; for help with compulsive behavior such as peeing in the plants and purring in public, press 8; Cats with no tails, press 9."

If i-mode added a special shopping number targeted to cats, I'm sure they'd sell lots of niche products that only cats would buy such as paper bags to crawl into, doors that open up into small spaces and shelves made specially to hang from high places.

Furthermore, cell phones would be a great way for cats all over the world to communicate with each other. Since the world is quickly becoming a global village, and cats all speak the same language, they should be able to get in touch with their ancestors. Persian cats could call Persia, Siamese cats could call Thailand and Hello Kitty could call Mars.

And who wouldn't want to receive a call from their cat? Imagine being in one of those boring office meetings when suddenly your cell phone starts vibrating. Wouldn't it be great to be able to say, just once, "Excuse me, I have to take this call. It's my cat."

So the next time you come home from work and your cat gives you the cold shoulder, maybe she just needs more attention. She needs a cell phone. She's probably dying to call you at work or to get a call from you on your lunch break.

But if you start getting bills for international long distance calls and home delivery of fish sticks, don't blame me!

Visit the Japan Lite home page at www.amychavez.com or e-mail comments to: amychavez@mailexcite.com

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