[ExI] don't bother

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Fri Aug 7 19:44:21 UTC 2020

On Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 12:01 PM William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Ja I get that.  A doghouse and a cat house are two very different things.
> spike
> Yeah, and neither one necessarily involves an animal.  Depending
> on your taste in the latter case.   bill w

Here's a scene from some science fiction I recently drabbled.

In the far future, humanity has spread among the stars and taken their pets
with them.  One variety, named "ship's cat", has been upgraded to be fully
compatible with  life aboard starships: they will avoid vacuum (or if
needed, wander into emergency-pressure rescue balls), are mostly
housebroken by instinct (the litter box being the only sandy surface in
most ships), have passive radio-response tags so crews can find them when
it is time to leave a world (implanted in some breeds, organic/"natural" in
others), and so on.

One world has taken this a step further with "kittyjuvenators".  An old cat
wanders in, the device sedates them, flash-clones what their body was like
as a year-old kitten, copies the mind, releases the kitten, and destroys
the almost-dead-anyway body.  The cats have no identity crisis from this:
they culturally accept that the new body is the "real them", even if there
is a brief period of adjustment to their new body.  As a result, they have
lived long enough to interact with human educational technology, learn to
read and write (a bit clumsily using claws, but mostly via keyboard), and
develop a culture.

And grew to wonder just what happened to those tall, massive beings that
once cuddled them and set up all these robots that the cats now subsist
with.  Alongside more serious consequences, licking each other just is not
the same as an intense scritching.

A party of adventuring cats eventually finds an abandoned human starship -
small (by human standards) and forgotten in the exodus.  A single human
could operate it - and so can the party of cats, after puzzling out and
adjusting the ship's controls for around a week.

As part of this, the bedroom is converted.  Though the large mattress
remains, shelves are added for the cats to get up high and rest on,
essentially a personal bunk for each feline crew.  Scratching posts,
auto-scooping/self-cleaning litter boxes, and the other necessities of
feline shipboard life are set up,. and life support is tuned to the needs
of cats.  The result can fairly be described as a "cat house".

Thus does the cat crew set off on a voyage of discovery...and eventually of
rescue, the descendants of their friends having not fled far enough to
escape a danger that never noticed cats.  But that is another tale.
(During first recontact, the comms officer did not literally ask, "Can we
has cuddles?", but it makes for a good meme.)
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