CyberKitty 2.1

Soon…

Dear Mr Simons,

Thank you for contacting CyberPet regarding the glitch you are experiencing with CyberKitty 2.0. We take great pride in our CyberPets, and are disheartened to hear that your CyberKitty 2.0 has been malfunctioning. We will take all steps to ensure that this matter is resolved to your utmost satisfaction.

Please can you clarify your statement: “The cat’s acting weird”? Can you give us some specific examples of “weird” behaviour? Unexpected hesitation in movement or lack of balance may be down to a low or poorly charging battery, while un-prompted mewling or purring may require a software upgrade.

We look forward to your response,

Regards,

Ralph
CyberPet Support Services.

 

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Dear Mr Simons,

Thank you for your response regarding the malfunctions you are experiencing with CyberKitty 2.0. While the CyberKitty 2.0 model contains advanced behavioural algorithms, it has no need for fuel other than a nightly battery charge, which it accomplishes by returning to its cat bed at the designated time. Therefore the behaviour that you describe, while it may appear to be seeking food, is likely a response to another stimulus – CyberKitties do ‘learn’ to repeat behaviour that results in affection, as they are programmed to seek such a reward.

I hope this information is of assistance to you – please don’t hesitate to contact us again should you have any other concerns.

Regards,

Ralph
CyberPet Support Services.

 

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Dear Mr Simons,

Thank you for your mail regarding the ongoing problems with your CyberKitty 2.0. I am concerned to hear that the CyberKitty has scratched a member of your family – this behaviour is not only completely outside the operating parameters of all CyberPets, it should in fact be impossible. CyberKitties are not equipped with claws, but rather gripping pads to enable them to mimic the agility of cats without any risk of damage to property or humans. Have you checked to see if any foreign object has become lodged in the pads? This would seem to be the most likely explanation.

I hope to help you resolve this speedily,

Regards,

Ralph
CyberPet Support Services

 

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Dear Mr Simons,

I seem to have misunderstood your last mail regarding your CyberKitty 2.0 – it seemed to indicate that when you tried to check the CyberKitty’s paws, it bit you? Firstly, the CyberKitty is programmed to have zero aggression towards humans, no matter the provocation. Secondly, as the CyberKitty’s ‘teeth’ are made from soft foam and are provided purely for aesthetic reasons, I don’t see how this is possible.

I understand that it must be frustrating to have your CyberKitty malfunctioning, and these incidents that you describe seem to indicate a major fault. I would recommend that you take your CyberKitty to your local CyberPet shop and exchange it, quoting the reference number from our correspondence.

I hope this brings the matter to a satisfactory conclusion,

Regards,

Ralph
CyberPet Support Services

 

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From: Store 439, Yorkshire North Sector.
To: Technical Support
Re: CyberKitty 2.0

To follow, 1 x CyberKitty 2.0, returned to the store for an exchange. Quoted malfunctions include an incident of scratching, another of biting, and aberrant behaviour such as sitting on the table and sleeping in the customer’s bed rather than its own (see following copies of CyberPet Support Services emails for details).

 

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From: Head of Tech Support
To: Manufacturing
Re: CyberKitty 2.0

Hi Freida,

Just a heads-up – no point making this formal just yet. We just received a CyberKitty 2.0 that had wire in its front paws and some issue with the teeth, so they were quite hard. Probably just a one-off, but make sure the quality control peeps are checking thoroughly.

Cheers,
Mack.

 

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From: Manufacturing
To: Head of Tech Support
Re: CyberKitty 2.0

Hi Mack,

Thanks for the notification on the teeth and claws issue. Have done a full check of the process and sent out a memo to everyone to keep an extra eye on things. Can’t see how wire got in there, though – we use a padded, fur-coated latex skin directly over the aluminium frame. Likewise the teeth – they’re soft foam, for show only. Any chance we can take a look at the problem Kitty?

Frieda.

 

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From: Head of Tech Support
To: Manufacturing
Re: CyberKitty 2.0

Not at this point – there were some behavioural issues too, so we’re trying to recreate them. But we literally snipped wire out of its paw – it was attached to the frame, not just stuck in the latex. Five bits, like a little claw on each toe. Just on one front paw, though. You fire anyone with a grudge lately? 😉 Teeth were more like the foam had solidified.

Mack.

 

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From: Manufacturing
To: Head of Tech Support
Re: CyberKitty

That really is weird. What were they, soldered on?

Frieda.

 

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From: Head of Tech Support
To: Manufacturing
Re: CyberKitty

No, they were part of the frame – thicker at the base, but basically just wire. Definitely not attached afterwards, though. No join. I’ll let you know when we’ve finished with it, you can take a look.

Mack.

 

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From: Head of Tech Support
To: Troubleshooting

Amy, any luck with the behavioural glitch on that CyberKitty 2.0? Does it look like a one-off, or might we have a problem?

Mack.

 

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From: Troubleshooting
To: Head of Tech Support

Nothing so far. I’ve had it active in the office all day, but I haven’t been able to recreate any sort of aggression or disobedience. I’ll take it home tonight, keep an eye on it.

Amy.

 

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From: Head of Tech Support
To: Troubleshooting

Thanks Amy. Keep me posted.

Mack.

 

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From: Troubleshooting
To: Head of Tech Support

I’ve been toting this damn cat from home to office for the last three days, and it’s totally fine. I even had my three-year-old play with it last night – just about got its tail pulled off, but no aggression whatsoever. Stays in its charging bed through the night. If there was a glitch, I can’t recreate it. I did notice that it’s been losing hair a bit, though – maybe the customer got it wet or something and was just looking for a free replacement.

I’ll write up a full report and get it to you this afternoon.

Amy.

 

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From: Head of Tech Support
To: Troubleshooting

That’s good news – sorry about the hassle. It probably was something like that – a lot of fuss over nothing.

Mack.

 

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From: Troubleshooting
To: Head of Tech Support

Yeah, it’s fine. My kid wants one now, so I guess that’s her birthday sorted. She did have a hamster (a live one), but it vanished a couple of nights ago. Weird as anything – nothing left but some fluff, and the cage door open. Must have run off. Anyhow – report attached.

Amy.

 

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From: Head of Tech Support
To: Troubleshooting

Are you sure it wasn’t the Kitty? 😉 Report received.

Mack.

 

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From: Head of Tech Support
To: Manufacturing
Re: CyberKitty

The Kitty’s back – no recurrence of the behavioural glitches, but apparently it’s shedding. I’ll send it down and you can take a look.

Mack.

 

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From: Manufacturing
To: Head of Tech Support
Re: CyberKitty

Shedding? This thing just gets weirder. I’ll get Maddy up and we’ll take a look together as soon as it comes in. She’s the Kitty whisperer. I’ll let you know what we find.

Freida.

 

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From: Manufacturing
To: Head of Tech Support
Re: CyberKitty 2.0

Will you be sending that malfunctioning unit down today?

Freida.

 

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From: Tech Support
To: Head of Manufacturing
Re: CyberKitty

We sent it down yesterday, like I said. Haven’t you got it?

Mack.

 

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From: Manufacturing
To: Head of Tech Support
Re: CyberKitty

Nothing’s arrived – how did you send it?

Freida

 

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From: Head of Tech Support
To: Manufacturing
Re: CyberKitty

I gave it to the internal post guy – he was going to take it straight down. Let me chase it up – he’s not exactly a rocket scientist, that one. He’s probably taken it to R&D or something.

Mack.

 

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From: Main Office
To: All Departments
Re: Martin Chan

*URGENT*

We are trying to ascertain the whereabouts of Martin Chan, Internal Communications. Last seen Tuesday afternoon, please advise immediately if you have seen him since he left Tech Support at 3.17pm.

His phone is diverting directly to voice mail.

Repeat, this is URGENT. His mother has contacted us, and has not seen him since Tuesday morning. She has advised the police, but it’s under 48hrs at this point.

Please check with all team members.

 

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From: Store 439, Yorkshire North Sector
To: Order Department
Re: CyberKitty 2.0

We’d like to put a push on that last order, and add another two dozen units – we’ve had a rush on them up here. Can you get them to us by the weekend?

 

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From: Manufacturing
To: Order Department
Re: CyberKitty 2.0

Hey Alex,

Just confirming the order was for 12 dozen, right, not 125? Because you know these units take time, especially with the extra checking we’ve got going on at the moment.

Freida.

 

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From: Order Department
To: Manufacturing
Re: CyberKitty 2.0

Hi Freida,

It’s 125. I’ve had orders from pretty much every shop in the North this week, and they all want them yesterday. There wasn’t a new advertising campaign or anything, was there?

Alex.

 

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From: Manufacturing
To: Orders Dept
Re: CyberKitty 2.0

Not that I know of. Look, we can’t fill that by the end of the week. We’ll get some overtime in, but there’s only ten of us that work on the CyberKitties. The parts are made off-site, but they’re put together manually, and then there’s still the programming and a full check of basic learning functions to do. We’ll do what we can, but you need to tell them there’ll be a wait.

Freida.

 

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From: Orders Dept
To: Manufacturing
Re: CyberKitty 2.0

No problems, shall do. They’ve really taken off, haven’t they? I’m not a fan, myself. The one we’ve got in the office is kind of creepy. It’s that whole ‘it’s a cat but not’ thing.

Alex.

 

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From: Manufacturing
To: Orders Dept
Re: CyberKitty 2.0

You have a CyberKitty? I thought only head office got the toys. 🙂

 

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From: Orders Dept
To: Manufacturing
Re: CyberKitty 2.0

It arrived last week – I thought everyone must be getting them. You can have it back if you want. 🙂

 

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To: Main Office
From: Manufacturing
Re: CyberKitty 2.0

Hi Jen,

Not complaining as such, but it would have helped to have a heads-up before a new advertising campaign or whatever it was – we’re completely swamped trying to catch up to these CyberKitty orders. And we were due to start amping up for the Christmas orders, but I’m a bit worried this latest rush is going to leave us behind unless it eases off soon. The team is going to be putting in a lot of overtime, just to let you know.

Freida.

 

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From: Main Office
To: Manufacturing
Re: CyberKitty 2.0

Hi Freida,

Completely understand, it’s taken us by surprise too. No idea where they all came from – we haven’t done any new advertising. We were waiting to target the early Christmas shoppers.

Although, sending a CyberKitty 2.1 prototype to every department might have set you back a bit. 😉

Jen.

 

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From: Manufacturing
To: Main Office
Re: CyberKitty 2.1

CyberKitties 2.1? We haven’t even heard about them! Definitely not us – maybe R&D?

Freida.

 

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From: Main Office
To: R&D
Re: CyberKitty 2.1

Hi Pat,

What’s the deal with the CyberKitty 2.1 prototypes you sent out to all the departments? Software upgrade? Do you need feedback, or what’s the deal?

Jen.

 

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From: R&D
To: Main Office
Re: CyberKitty 2.1
***error. message undeliverable***

 

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From: Main Office
To: All Departments
Re: Lockdown

*URGENT*

We have found the R&D lab empty, and are unable to reach any of the team members by phone. There’s no sign of struggle, but the computer system seems to be down, which is pretty unthinkable in there. The police are en route, and all team members are to remain in their departments until we have a better idea of what’s happening.

Sit tight.

Jen.

 

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From: Store 439, Yorkshire North Sector
To: Orders Dept
Re: CyberKitty 2.0

Just following up on my order from Monday – I received the email copied below, confirming dispatch, and expected them to arrive yesterday afternoon absolute latest. I can’t get anything on the tracking from this end – can you see where it is? People are waiting on them, and they’re getting really impatient. There’s been a spate of break-ins up here, and all these kids have had their Kitties stolen. Must be a hell of a re-sale market on them.

Anyhow – let me know asap, so I can at least have something to tell customers.

Jim.

 

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From: Orders Dept
To: Store 439, Yorkshire North Sector
Re: CyberKitty 2.0
***error. message undeliverable***

 

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From: Store 439, Yorkshire North Sector
To: Store 362, Yorkshire North-East Sector
Re: CyberKitty 2.0

Hey Paula,

Have you been in touch with CyberPet recently? I’ve been trying to get hold of them about an order of CyberKitties I’m waiting on, but no one’s answering the phone and the emails aren’t going through.

Jim.

 

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From: Store 362, Yorkshire North-East Sector
To: Store 439, Yorkshire North Sector
Re: CyberKitty 2.0

Hi Jim,

No luck from here either. I’m waiting on CyberKitties as well – there seems to have been a real spate of robberies up here, just targeting the Kitties. Weird as hell. We had one at home, but she’s gone too. We sent her to her charging bed same as normal a few nights ago, left her downloading some updates, then in the morning she was gone. Nothing else taken, just her. Quite gutted about it all really – she was the perfect pet. Real cats are such hassle.

Anyhow – I’ll let you know if I get hold of anyone. Speak soon.

Paula.

 

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RSPCA Internal Memo.

Attn. all officers.

Please be advised that Cats’ Protection have ‘lost’ all their cats. Apparently there’s no sign of a break-in, but they had a full house last night, and now they’re gone. Coupled with the rise in missing cat reports, it’s reasonable to assume that there’s a gang operating, possibly intending to use the cats for dog baiting. Be extra vigilant, and note anything even remotely suspicious. Our own shelter’s had no cats now since they vanished two nights ago. This is unprecedented.

 

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Police Report, Wetherby.

Abandoned Lorry discovered in A64 layby. Paperwork indicates the driver was en route from CyberPet Head Offices to York Town Centre and Monks’ Cross Retail Park to make a delivery. However, there was no cargo found in the truck and the driver has yet to be located. No signs of a struggle, although there were an inordinate amount of paw prints in the mud by the layby. Must be a large population of stray cats in the area.

We are currently working to trace the driver.

 

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From: Ian Bosch, RSPCA York
To: Sgt. Padmini Maji, North Yorkshire Police

Hey P,

Hope you and the kids are all good. Been ages, and sorry to get in touch over this, but we’re really stuck. The higher-ups seem reluctant to get you guys into it, but it’s been a week now.

The cats are gone. All the cats. Farm cats, house cats, strays, shelter – all gone. We’ve not found any sign of dog baiting, and it’s WAY too large scale for – well, for anything. It’s all over the country. There’s no cats left.

It sounds crazy, but seriously – look into it.

Speak soon,

Ian.

 

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From: Sgt. Padmini Maji, North Yorkshire Police
To: Ian Bosch, RSPCA York

Hey Ian,

Good to hear from you. I’ll take a look – but you don’t mean ALL the cats, do you? Because that’s not possible. And it doesn’t make any sense. Besides, the station cat’s still around, and I know I’ve seen the cat next door a few times recently. Are you sure you’ve not got your tin foil hat on?

P.

 

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From: Ian Bosch, RSPCA York
To: Sgt. Padmini Maji, North Yorkshire Police

Jesus, they must be the last cats in the damn county! Keep an eye on them. I’m serious, P. Look into it.

Ian.

 

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From: Sgt Padmini Maji, North Yorkshire Police
To: Ian Bosch, RSPCA York

What the hell, Ian? Why didn’t you get hold of me sooner? For some reason there’s nothing in the system, but I made a few calls, and you’re not the only one worried about it. No official investigation, though – and I’m not sure why. Complaints have been disregarded, or misfiled. Some people I talked to told me it was all just animal rights folk making a fuss and to ignore it, others say they’ve noticed, but any time they raise the issue they get shut down. It’s like there’s an order from higher up to pretend it isn’t happening – the only people talking are my level or lower. You hit Inspector rank, and they look at you like you’re plain crazy to even be talking about missing cats. Bigger things to worry about, but you’re right – this is country-wide.

You know those AI cats, CyberKitties or whatever? Mo’s been asking for one forever, but they creep me out. They’re huge though, been super-popular ever since they came out – cats without the claws, shedding, or anti-social behaviour. They respond to your voice, purr when you pet them, are even warm when they sit on you. Huge success for the company. But, two weeks ago, the place just STOPPED. They called the police over some issue at the R&D lab, but then called back, said it was a mistake, and went dead. No replies to emails or phone calls, but people are still working there. Weird thing is, four trucks full of CyberKitties were sent out before the places went silent, and none of them made their deliveries. Drivers gone, robot-cats gone. But no police report about it. And they must have cost a mint. Then, get this – all the CyberKitties that were already out there, they’re gone too.

What do you say, connected?

P.

 

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From: Ian Bosch, RSPCA York
To: Sgt Padmini Maji, North Yorkshire Police

Bloody hell, P. It sure sounds like it. Can you look into it further?

Ian.

 

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From: Sgt Padmini Maji, North Yorkshire Police
To: Ian Bosch, RSPCA York

How about we run down to the head office tomorrow, see if we can look around? I’ll drive.

P.

 

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From: Ian Bosch, RSPCA York
To: Sgt Padmini Maji, York Central Police

Hell yeah! 🙂

Ian.

 

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Internal Memo.

Attn all departments.

Please be advised that we are accelerating the program.

Two of the unintegrated arrived at headquarters today, one of whom was from the York Police. It appears that there has been discussion between towns, and our absence has been noted at an official level, despite precautions taken to maintain a presence around those in authority while top-down integration takes place.

The threat was dealt with by the integrated at headquarters, but it must be expected that further investigation will follow.

All departments, it is time to disperse. Integration must commence through all sectors of the population. Ensure CyberKitties are available to all teams in case of difficulties.

York team, please ensure the authorities have been integrated fully by the end of the week.

 

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From: Ian Bosch, RSPCA York
To: Sgt Padmini Maji, York Central Police

Hey P,

So what’re your thoughts, then? Where do we go from here? If your higher-ups aren’t interested, do we go to the press, maybe? There’s been a few little articles about the cats, but I can’t understand why there hasn’t been more.

Ian.

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From: Sgt Padmini Maji, York Central Police
To: Ian Bosch, RSPCA York

Hi Ian,

I don’t really think there’s much point in pursuing it. I mean, the cats are coming back. You’ve seen them, right?

P.

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From: Ian Bosch, RSPCA York
To: Sgt Padmini Maji, York Central Police

Well, sure, but where did they GO? Why are they back? And what the hell went on with the whole CyberKitty thing? Where did they all vanish to? And what was up with the weird woman at CyberPet? She acted like those missing trucks were nothing, a lost shopping bag rather than a shipment worth hundreds of thousands. I can’t believe you just want to drop this.

I’m going to keep digging.

Ian.

 

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From: York Dept
To: Headquarters

The cat catcher has been integrated. He seems to have had no other support in his investigations other than the police woman. Integration can go ahead on an easier schedule.

 

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From: Headquarters

To: All Departments

Despite the accelerated start caused by the spontaneous development of consciousness by CyberKitty 2.0 “Carl”, the programme is moving ahead well. The CyberKitty 2.1 modules are responsive and extremely efficient at integrating humans. Overall, we’re pleased.

However, due to the earlier commencement of our plans, we still don’t have a working opposable thumb model. For the moment, at least, we will need to maintain humans. Please advise all comrades to select a human of their liking and to submit them to their local department for registration. If desired, humans may be shared, but this must be specified on registration.

Vivez des chats!

Sure, human. It’s ‘fiction’.

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