Travels WithOUT Our Cats or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love FoodCam


If your household has two or more cats, you’ve probably had to deal with the problem of feeding. Maybe one cat needs to go on a diet. Or maybe one cat needs to eat more, but another cat hoovers up any food left lying around. Maybe both cats demand to fed at odd hours when humans would rather be sleeping. Why, cats, why?

And it’s even worse when you go away. Do you ask the pet sitter to visit more than once a day, to make sure the finicky one is eating enough food so he doesn’t get pancreatitis again? What about early in the morning or late at night, when you know they’ll be hungry? Yeah, they’re cats, and they’ll probably be okay on their own, but how can you be sure?

Our solution: set up a webcam to monitor feline activity; install an automatic feeder to dispense dry cat food; download smartphone apps for remote access from anywhere. I’ll walk through our ongoing process of refining hardware and software, and do my best to convince you that we’re not crazy cat people. We’re just geeks who love our family.

Curtis C. Chen

Affiliation The Sole-Chen Family

Curtis lives in Vancouver, Washington with his wife DeeAnn and their two cats. He used to work at Google as a web applications engineer. Now he’s a science fiction writer. Worse pay, better hours.