Blame the cat…

Have you ever noticed that a lot of hams are cat lovers (or pets in general)? I have two cats who love to bug me when I’m operating. Walking over the keyboard, bumping the paddles. I came across this silly cat story in the ARRL Newsletter about a ‘ditter’. Apparently some station was sending a continuous string of dits on 40m from time to time. To make a long story short: the local hams gathered a small team to find the station sending the dits. In the end they found a station with no one at home but still transmitting.

Here’s the link to the newsletter: Now the bottom line (quote from the ARRL Newsletter 10/31/2008):

With help from the neighbor, Swain contacted the ham at work and
explained the situation. The ham told the neighbor how to get in the
house and where they would find the transmitter. "We went in, found the
transmitter in operation and turned it off," Swain said. "I noticed the
ham had a large cat lounging near the transmitter and assumed the cat
could have leaned up against the keyer paddle and started the
transmitter. No other explanation could be possible without the owner
hearing the transmit relay clicking."

I wonder if the operator leaves his house with the rig on? Or does his cat know how to flip switches? Every time I leave my shack for a snack or a whiz I put the amp in ‘stand by’ and route the rig to the dummy load. When I leave the house the house all my stuff is switched off and the 230V supply is cut with a master switch on the outlet (à la this one). My cats are pretty clever in opening doors and flushing the toilet but I don’t see them activating my station…

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