A workout treadmill for cats

Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space cover

After being in print for twenty years, the Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space, covering everything that was learned on every single space mission in the 20th century, has finally gone out of print.

I presently have my last four hardback copies available for sale. The book sold new for about $90. To get your own autographed copy of this now rare collector's item, please send a $120 check (which includes shipping) payable to Robert Zimmerman to

Behind The Black, c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

"Useful to space buffs and generalists, comprehensive but readable, Bob Zimmerman's Encyclopedia belongs front and center on everyone's bookshelf." -- Mike Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut


"The Chronological Encylopedia of Discoveries in Space is no passionless compendium of information. Robert Zimmerman's fact-filled reports, which cover virtually every spacecraft or probe to have ventured into the heavens, relate the scientific and technical adventure of space exploration enthusiastically and with authority." -- American Scientist

News you can use: A company has now designed a smart treadmill specifically designed for cats.

The Little Cat’s biggest selling point is that it has a built-in incentive – an LED light that moves up the center of the ring. As anyone who’s ever flicked a laser pointer around on the floor knows, cats go nuts for those lights, and this might be the missing ingredient that gets their lazy butts onto the treadmill. In some of the videos it seems to work, but in others the cat is far more interested in the LED and looks visibly uncomfortable as soon as the floor starts to move under it.

Where other wheels are passive and only move when the cat starts running, the Little Cat can be set to move on its own at different speeds, like a treadmill. It’s controlled through a smartphone app, letting users set the speed, move the LED around, watch the cat through a live camera feed and even record voice samples to play back when you’re not home. The app also works like a fitness tracker, recording your pet’s run data and apparently using that to develop a customized exercise plan.

No pricing is available as yet. I’ve embedded the company’s video below the fold, which proves once again that it is impossible to predict the strange and absurd places humans will take their ingenuity.



  • wayne

    looks like a slightly higher-tech version of this:

    Cat Exercise Wheel – Kickstarter Video
    july 2014

    From my experience– the best cat toy is a piece of string.
    These type of gadgets, get sold to the owner. (and if you’re going to spend that much–just get another cat; 2-3 of them, keep each other busy all day.) ((and stop over-feeding them!))

  • wayne


    Grow your ‘medicine,’ with your phone….

  • Kirk

    I was expecting to find a comment from wayne (our resident master YouTube librarian) with a link to this joyous video of an obese cat walking on an underwater treadmill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmL1D_aWTAY

    That particular video is a 10 hour loop of the cat synched to the Bee Gees / Stayin’ Alive, but somewhere out there is a news story about the cat, Buddha, who was brought in to a rescue organization too fat to walk, and they gently brought his weight down to healthy levels via diet and exercise, initially on the water treadmill intended for rehabbing dogs with joint problems.

  • Kirk: That video was an evening pause already. See Fat Cat Staying Alive 10 Hours

  • Kirk

    Ah! That must have been how I first learned of it. Thanks!

  • Kirk

    … and I’m amazed to see that particular Evening Pause generated no comments. I shared it with everyone I knew and they loved it. I should have thanked you and Jim Mallamace then, so I’ll just say thanks again for it now.

  • wayne

    I was going to say, “that sounds very familiar” ref– fat-cat stayin’ alive.
    You flatter me Sir., The thing with YouTube is, what’s not available would fill a library. (or what isn’t properly tagged and indexed and becomes “unfindable.”
    Highly recommend Archive dot org for truly obscure and ephemeral film & video, although an increasing amount of that material is eventually uploaded to YouTube.)

    I have a whole drawer filled with laser-pointers. The various Cat’s I’ve kept all grew tired of chasing the dot around relatively quickly–they inevitably wanted me to get on my hands & knees and actively play with them.
    (as an aside– if one has time to jog, one has time to play with The Cat.)

  • Col Beausabre

    Looking at this, my thought was “We really do live in the wealthiest society in history”. We are a society that can afford to squander untold resources on stuff like this (pet rocks and chia pets , anyone?). People think nothing of vacationing overseas every year, going on cruises, etc. Yes, there are some who are desperately poor, but most of our “poor” have TV’s, Ipods, cars, etc. not to mention a roof over their head and food in their belly – a level of life that makes them rich in comparison to most of the truly poor in this world and rich beyond belief in comparison to all of humanity for all except the past couple of generations.

    And before Bob says it, I will. It’s due to capitalism and the free market

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *