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When former Jefferson resident Vivian Hoard was working “24/7″ as a tax litigator for a large Atlanta law firm, she often came home at night to a sleeping family, but she always could rely on the family cat, Ludwig, to sit in her lap and purr contentedly.

“When I’d come home at all hours of the night, the cat would snuggle in my lap and purr very, very softly,” says Hoard. “He would help me unwind after a long day.”

Unfortunately, Ludwig is gone now, but Hoard’s memories of how her favorite feline helped her to relax never went away. Realizing that many people who could benefit from a cat’s soothing influence can’t be pet owners due to allergies or other issues, Hoard launched a four-year journey to create the next best thing to the real kitty.

After extensive research into the bond between humans and animals, the trials and travails of having an idea patented and large-scale manufacturing, Hoard created Catnap Kitties, a battery-operated “comfort toy” that offers the sensation of holding a real cat (minus realities of food and kitty litter).

Photo by Catnap Kitties.

Originally posted by Rich Whittle on December 30, 2008 in Inventions.

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