Nowadays, staying connected generally means something along the lines of regular facebook use. For the Finney Labs team, it has meant a LOT of work on the production of the mess-free connectors for the Fuzzybutts Cat Box.
It's amazing how the slightest little alteration will make or break it. A slightly higher K value in the spring, and its too hard to push the connector together. Too weak and it won't shut off when disconnected. Just the right stainless steel for resistance to kitty pee over the course of years. Our connectors are an extremely important part of the system, as they will keep users hands clean and make it mess free to empty the bag, so we've worked countless hours to get them just right.
When I first began designing Fuzzybutts, I thought that it could be sold without automatic shutoff connectors. Get some air in the line and disconnect was my method. But thinking about the variety of people who will use Fuzzybutts, it quickly became obvious that somehow I would have to keep every drop of liquid waste in the tube whether it is connected or disconnected. I'm a medical student, almost entirely not queasy about biological fluids. At a surgery center in a Honduran orphanage I've emptied surgical suction canisters from orthopedic and urological surgery. They look, smell, and sound like a horror movie. I'm not the right person to evaluate that every user of Fuzzybutts would take a little cat pee in stride. So, we came up with a way to make sure that the process of discarding the liquid waste from the collection bag is completely free of drips and mess.
We continue to perfect. We're almost there! July deliveries are looking good.