Friday, May 08, 2009

Product review: The LeBistro Automatic Pet feeder.

None of this has anything to do with running or triathlon.

Update: I've been on Levothyroxine (Synthroid) for about 5 weeks now. The first two weeks, I had an eyelid twitch, which my opthamologist said was from stress. In any case, it's gone now, and I haven't had it for over a week. I have not lost any weight. I have, however, noticed my energy level is better. I don't have this crushing fatigue that makes me want to cry when I get up in the morning.

Part of this is also possibly due to the new cat feeding machine that feeds the cats at 4 am, so they wake me. I must digress to share this miracle of modern technology. This thing. Has changed. My life.

About 3 am, Whitney would jump onto the bed, run back and forth on me just long enough to wake me up, and then zoom off before I came up swinging--Just kidding!--reached for the squirt bottle that I keep on my side of the bed, for just such an occasion. She would repeat this about every 10 minutes until I got up.
As soon as I sat bolt upright the 2nd cat, Lily, (very much like this picture) who is an unholy cross between a cat and a screetch owl, would start come over to my side of the bed and meow. I mean, loud. Really loud. And we have a noise machine in the room, too, to mask outside noises, and I'm hearing-impaired. You can't sleep through this.

Attempts to shut out the cats resulted in Lily hurling her very large, heavy Maine Coone cat body against the door so that it rattled in the frame, scratching, picking at the door with her claws, clawing at the floor and howling.

Baboo, of course, slept through all this.

More than once, I picked her up, put her in the garage, and tried to go back to sleep, but by the time you've carried a heavy struggling howling cat across the house naked, you're pretty much wide awake.
So. Finally, I very dramatically declared that either the cats spent the nights in the garage or we get this automatic feeder I'd been researching. (Baboo, of course, is always bewildered as to why I am so dramatic. All I have to do is ask, after all. But being dramatic often more fun.)

So I ordered this thing from Amazon, bought 3 D batteries, programmed it.

At first, not so much of a change, and I despaired. Then I read about "attention-seeking" behavior and waited. Now, after about a week, the cats have clearly realized that the machine is the God of Food, and are ignoring me. I don't even see them until I get up. I set the clock for 4 am, 2 pm, and 9 pm. This schedule was chosen to give them full bellies late in the day, So they'd sleep more at night.

Just before a feeding, the cats shark around the machine, meowing, but this is way down the hall where I can't hear it, so who cares. Then the Le Bistro makes a little whirring noise, and dumps out its payload of nuggety goodness. You can choose up to 3 feedings, between 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, or a cup of food.

I'm sleeping all the way until I want to get up, which makes a huge different in my motivation level.
You won't find it at triathlon supply places, but it might as well be.
Maybe sporting-goods stores should have a section for "motivation". It would have all manner of gagetry to simply ones life and allow time (and sleep) for more training.


  1. Life Enhancing Technology!!!

    (I am not letting The Boarder read this. He does not seem to know that people can be roused from their beds. And I am aiming to keep it that way!)

  2. My cat has an automatic feeder as well. Truly worth having !!

  3. I am getting one. Immediately.

    Lord, where has this thing been all my adult, 4 cat, owning life? (I am currently at a modest 4 cats, but it has been as high as 6. Crazy old cat lady in training.)

    Well, I will be honest, I have just had fat cats because I keep a big bowl full at night to avoid the drama. How exactly do men that snivel if you so much as turn over at night sleep through THAT sound?!

    Thanks for the product review!

  4. Thank goodness for modern technology! I'm so glad the auto feeder is working out for you. Interrupted sleep is horrible for a persons health, much less training.

  5. We got a thingy like that - it took our extremely dim cat a few weeks to figure out what that grinding noise meant and when it would go. For a year or two we had lovely peaceful nights, then she started bugging us 20 minutes before the thing was set to go. So I gave up and just put out a lot of food to last her the night. Now she is the size of a small SUV.

  6. What a marvelous solution!


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 I'm no longer involved in multisport or endurance sports. I've started my own business, a psychotherapist specializing in anxiety d...