Ring, ring! Charlie and Priscilla on the line!
I can't think of anyone I'd rather receive a call from then my cat (sorry friends and family), so this is one futuristic invention I can totally get behind.
GOOD sifted through some of the hundreds of thousands of patents received every year by the United States Patent and Trademark office, and came across an application for the "Domestic Animal Telephone," submitted by Mark W. Kroll of Crystal Bay, Minnesota.
The premise is that since so many people leave behind their cats and dogs while they're at work, then why not create a phone where owners can make calls to and receive calls from their pets when they're away. The twist, of course, is that getting your cat to answer a phone would be an invention in itself, and once they get through to you, it's bound to be a one sided conversation.
Another proposed feature is that the phone "will release a human scent to the animal by remote command," to help reduce separation anxiety, and "an apparatus to allow a human owner at a remote location to release a small food treat to a pet."
God help us all if cats figure out how to pick up a telephone and ask for treats. On second thought, I'm getting an unlisted number now, just to be safe.
Thanks for the tip, Alison!