For green thumbers who have a rocky time working in their gardens, Screener Thing offers a solution. This nifty, sifty garden tool is basically a screen framed by wood planks that sits on top of wheelbarrows or buckets. When pouring dirt into the receptacle, the screen catches all of the unwanted rocky or chunky material that lives in the dirt. For $45, backers can rock out with the Screener Thing. The money, rather than the play, is the Thing as it needs to raise $45,000 on Kickstarter in its 45-day campaign.
The Premise. Cats can be a joy to have around the house. Anyone who has cared for them, though, knows that it’s not all fun and games. Cleaning a litter box is a chore that most people will admit to not being a fan of, yet it’s an essential part of owning a cat. It’s not only time-consuming, but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s a bit gross as well.
The Product. It’s called the Litter Pro, and it’s being billed as a fast, no-mess device to help streamline cleaning a litter box. Essentially a large strainer that sits atop a five-gallon bucket, the Litter Pro allows the user to simply dump their entire litter box in, as opposed to cleaning it with a scoop. Once the waste is strained, the litter can be returned to the box for a fresh, mess-free start.
The Pitch. One can sympathize with the Litter Pro’s creator; there’s really no appealing way to demonstrate a cat waste product. Right from the start, though, you can tell something is up with the pitch. The video makes an example out of what it already calls and “unlikely scenario” in which a cleaning job could take a great deal of time. In reality, though, everyone who has a cat knows that regular maintenance requires just a scoop or two and can be done in seconds. The video is a bit crudely thrown together, too, which doesn’t necessarily help things at all.
The Perks. The base Litter Pro package (shipping in May 2014) starts out at $25, which seems fair enough as an entry-level price for the system. Things get a bit odd with the perks for this campaign, however. Higher-tier prizes include cat posters and t-shirts, for example, which at least apply to the product. For $500, however, the campaign leader will repair your computer for you(?). Or, if you happen to be Petco, you can order 100 Litter Pros for $1,500. It’s clear that the developer is trying every approach possible to reach the rather unreasonable $30,000 goal.
The Potential. It’s not uncommon for cat lovers to lavish large amounts of money on their fury friends, but usually it’s for things that are actually useful. In many ways, using the Litter Pro appears to be more work than simply staying up with typical litter box maintenance. For those who have a number of cats, it may find some use. Most cat owners, though, will do best by simply sticking with a normal scoop, and may even end up making less of a mess. Of course, there’s always the option of toilet training.