YouTuber and mechanical engineer William Osman has done the unthinkable: turned a cat into a firefighter. And while that’s mostly unthinkable because nobody’s ever bothered to think of it, it’s still impressive. Or at the very least proof that a cat will push a button if you feed it enough to do so.
Osman decided to train the cat to put out fires as part of a laser-baby build inspired by The Boys. But while the baby build is entertaining, what’s really fascinating here is the cat training. Because, yes, cat training is just as unreliable—and semi-futile—as one would expect.
Despite the difficulties of training Jimmy Neutron the cat, Osman eventually trained him to press a button And all it took is a contraption with numerous moving pieces powered by servo motors; including a treat dispenser, a clickable button, and, to use Osman’s term, a “flame system.”
With that button-pushing ability, and the contraption, Osman was able to Pavlov his cat into pushing a button for a reward. Specifically when the cat saw that something is on fire.
Toward the end of the video (around minute 13), Osman placed the cat near a tiny wooden house. Osman then lit the house on fire and waited for his cat to press the button—and thusly douse the flaming house with a spit of water from a tiny fire truck. And while it took the feline a while to screw its courage to the scratching post, it eventually put out the fire.
Osman’s shocking success aside, we’re still going to assume that cats are better at starting fires rather than stopping them. And they’ll probably start those fires intentionally only some of the time.
What do you think about William Osman’s feline firefighter? Are you impressed with Neutron’s button-pushing abilities, or have you seen far craftier cats? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Feature image: William Osman