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CNET News Video: Using GPS to track exactly where cats creep

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CNET News Video: Using GPS to track exactly where cats creep

3:04 /

Cats tend to lead double lives, sometimes disappearing for long periods of time without a hint of where they went. CNET's Sumi Das explains how one owner used GPS and other tracking devices to spy on her cat after a mysterious five-week disappearance.

-Caroline Paul and Wendy McNaughton are self-described crazy cat ladies. Although, Wendy only became feline-friendly after a long ordeal, it began four years ago when Paul's cat Tiby vanished. -You thought he was dead, right? -After five long weeks, Tiby, healthy and well-fed returned. His homecoming was caused for celebration. But then, Paul wanted to know where he been? -I did what betrayed wives do. -Yes. -Everywhere when they wanna find out what their man is doing. I decided that I was gonna stalking. -Paul and Mcnaughton chronically how they track to be in their book, Lost Cat. They found the GPS device online called, The Cat Track. -Well, we put a very small GPS logger on his neck which meant that we would sure mount the door for the day 'cause we knew he was still going to wherever he had been once he returned because he wasn't eating here. -This map shows Tiby's tracks over a 10-hour period. Well, I expected to see like a straight line that went from my house to the perps and instead, when I downloaded it, I got this crazy Jackson Pollock-like drawing on the map. -Unable to make sense of Tiby's frenzy tracks. Paul turned to the experts and contacted the GPS lab at Stanford. -They told me to look for the timestamps like where he was for the longest time, but unfortunately, that overrided my technological abilities. -The couple upgraded to the cat cam, a still camera in a waterproof case. Though, the resulting whisker shots didn't reveal much. -We also did get photos, though, of him outdoors and sometimes his own reflection in the window. He seemed to like to look at himself. -They switched to a video camera, but the footage made them seasick so they went back to the Jackson Pollock- like maps. -And we created layers of each of the maps and stack them on top of each other in a single document and reduce transparency, which then allowed us to see all the maps at once. -By using Photoshop, Wendy and Caroline were able to figure out that Tiby was spending a lot of time not too far from home, about 10 houses down the street. Since Tiby's cat capers, the gadgets have advanced. Paw track alerts you when your kitty goes beyond the certain area. The Tag Pet Tracker displays your cat's coordinates on your phone. But Tiby may go down in history as a pioneer in Tabby-Tracking Technology. We stopped wondering. I mean, he's already 13-years old and so-- and then years passed and he actually passed away at the healthy age of 17. Paul's current cats tend not to wonder but she has a plan if they do. She bought a drone. In San Francisco, I'm Sumi Das, cnet.com for CBS News.

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