Thanks to the engineering genius of Elon Musk, cats now have cozy new places to lounge in Winter — satellite dishes that are part of his Starlink telecommunications system.
Part of the SpaceX corporation, Starlink utilizes dishes that pick up telecommunications signals from satellites positioned above the Earth — but the warming that the dishes have built into them makes them a prime target for the heat-seeking missiles that all cats are.
Especially now, as much of the northern hemisphere is covered in snow, cats who go outdoors need a place where they can survey their surroundings while being sheltered from the cold…. and what better place than on a $500 satellite dish that their owners so thoughtfully placed out in the yard?
The dishes must have warming systems since they are concave and face skyward — otherwise they would quickly fill with snow and ice in the Winter.
Starlink user Aaron Taylor of Calgary, Alberta, was quick to share the view he was treated to on New Year’s Eve when he looked out the window to see a total of five cats lounging on his dish, lazing on their heated pedestal a few feet over the top of the snow.
“Starlink works great until the cats find out that the dish gives off a little heat on cold days,” he writes in a Tweet. Naturally, his Tweet showing the cats went viral all over the globe, earning over 190,000 likes and 26,000 retweets as of today.
One would think that the presence of all these furry bodies might throw a money wrench into the service — and that is true, but only to a certain extent, Taylor notes. In response to a question from another Twitter user, he stated “Yes, interrupts streaming of movies. Doesn’t shut it down completely but definitely slows everything down.”
Starlink, the satellite telecommunications service created by Musk, currently has more than 1,600 satellites orbiting in space — but that’s only the beginning for the tech maven, who plans to launch up to 12,000, reports Smithsonian Magazine.
Yes, interupts streaming of movies. Doesn't shut it down completely but definitely slows everything down.
— Aaron Taylor (@Tippen22) January 1, 2022
Taylor explains that the cats do indeed have their own heated cat house — but they were so thrilled with their new heated dish that they sat on it even when temperatures dipped down to minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 25 Celsius). “When the sun goes down, they head back to their house,” he stated on Twitter.
Taylor believes that not only are the satellite dishes warmed from the bottom, the sunlight that beams down on them during sunny days adds to the temperatures, making a heat sink for the warmth-loving kitties.
And it’s not just felines — birds as well are attracted to warmth in Winter, and are known to hang out for extended periods of time in heated birdbaths. Now they have the $500 heated satellite dishes to add to their perching spots for those chilly Winter days. Twitter user Nico Thirion posted a photo of a bird who was also spending his day on a Starlink satellite dish. “Different species, same problem,” he Tweeted.
The vast network of satellites that have been deployed into space is creating a bit of gridlock in the heavens, with Musk’s satellites now responsible for as many as 1,600 near-crashes in orbit every week, according to a report from Futurism.
These are only likely to increase as Starlink adds yet more to its satellite array. But at least we know that our furry and feathered friends will be comfortable during the harsh Wintertime weather.