Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Homeowners discover a furtively flushing feline is the source of their huge water bills.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, January, 2007]
Origins: As the current housemates of five cats (and the temporary foster parents of many a litter of motherless kittens), we've
We've never had a cat figure out how to generate a stream of water from a bathroom fixture on its own, though. But someone else has.
Gizmo, the feline shown in the video linked above, was fascinated with the swirling motion produced by water emptying out of a flushed toilet. Not only was he fascinated by it, he also quite remarkably figured out how to initiate such a display all on his own, without any human
Although Gizmo's toilet-flushing activities came as a surprise to his Santa Clara, California, owners (Nick and Scarlet, not Jim and Jennifer), it isn't true
The e-mail is completely bogus. The real story is that my wife was in the office (she works at home) in the mid-afternoon and heard the toilet flush. This confused her, as no one else was home. She thought that either I had come home from work early and sneaked in or that there was someone else in the house. But when she investigated, she saw that it was our new kitten named Gizmo, doing more or less what was shown in the video.Gizmo's interest in toilet flushing has waned somewhat over the years, but his owners nonetheless still try to keep the bathroom door shut. And neither Gizmo nor his sister Jade uses the toilet for its intended purpose, making do instead with litterboxes in the garage.
When I got home, she told me the story. As she was starting to tell it, we heard the flush, and I grabbed the camera. The result is the video you see.
Last updated: 8 February 2007
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