Contemplating Friday: I Tracked My Cat By GPS













One day, not so long ago, I was jilted by my cat. It’s a long sordid story of betrayal and despair, and since I wrote a book about it I won’t go into the details, in a transparent effort to make you buy it instead. Suffice it to say that I knew my cat had a secret life and I was determined to find out what it was.

I decided to follow him.

How do you follow a cat? Technology, of course. And where better to find the right technology than a spy store. Have you been? You haven’t? Come with me, then, you and your inner James Bond, to the International Spy Shop in San Francisco. Let’s go on a quick tour — past the clock that is really a video camera, the pen that’s really a voice recorder, the wiretapping equipment. Over there the combat knives, the brass knuckles, the tasers. Walk with me here (don’t grab a tissue from that box, it’s a hidden camera device.) Yes, over here, to the GPS units (that teddy bear you’re squeezing? A nanny cam) — our ultimate destination.

As the store employee will tell you, all sorts of people buy Global Positioning Systems. This one is dropped into money bags at the bank! This fits into your child’s backpack! Got a teenager? Here’s a magnetized unit for the underside of your fancy new car. And of course, here’s the one perfect for slipping into the purse or briefcase of that wicked, errant spouse.

That day the employee led me to the GPS shelves just as I have led you here, and explained each device at length. I shook my head at each one. They were all too big.

Alas, back in 2008, when my quest to stalk my pet began, there were no GPS units small enough for a cat. It seemed that crazy cat ladies such as myself were ahead of the tech curve. And ahead of international spies. So I went online and found a man who fashioned cat GPS units out of his garage. He was not just a genius engineer. He was a soulmate.

I tracked my short, hairy husband for a few months and, though the technology was rudimentary, it worked like a charm (did I tell you? I wrote a book about it). And now here we are five years later, and guess what? Corporate America is finally taking cat tracking and locating seriously. I can’t vouch for the devices’ efficacy, but I can say if you want to stalk your cat, go ahead. Remember, you’re not nuts. You’re just a concerned animal lover. And you’re part of a new tech revolution.

Links you need to stalk your cat:

The Tagg for Cats

The Pawtrack


The Drone

Caroline Paul is the author of “East Wind, Rain” and “Fighting Fire.” Her latest book is “Lost Cat, A True Story of Love, Desperation and GPS Technology,” an illustrated collaboration with Wendy MacNaughton, which includes even more tips on cat-stalking.

Caroline Paul and Wendy MacNaughton
Caroline Paul is the author of "East Wind, Rain" and "Fighting Fire," and she co-wrote "Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation and GPS Technology" with her partner Wendy MacNaughton. MacNaughton's illustrations have appeared in The New York Times, Juxtapoz, and Print Magazine. "Lost Cat" was inspired by the curious disappearances of their beloved Tibia.
Caroline Paul and Wendy MacNaughton
Tags: Downtime,Gadgets & Devices,Technology