Neighborhood inventor creates “purr-fect” solution for thirsty cats
Happy Canyon resident Steven Chalmers invented “AquaPurr,” a low-maintenance drinking fountain for cats.
By Elizabeth Wood West; photo courtesy of Steven Chalmers
Happy Canyon resident Steven Chalmers looks at the world around him with an uncanny ability to assess a problem or need and then create a solution. Chalmers has a computer science degree and an extensive background in user-experience design, which focuses on making software more intuitive and easy to learn and use.
Chalmers’s creative nature served him well when building his Happy Canyon home and undertaking ambitious landscaping projects. Chalmers said, “I planted over 100 trees on my two acres and needed to run drip irrigation to all of the trees so that I could water them until they became established. If you’ve ever built a sprinkler or drip irrigation system, you know how difficult it is to push sprinkler pipe fittings into that hard sprinkler pipe, and to do that over and over again. This inspired me to invent the ‘Sprinkler Rat,’ which is a press mechanism that clamps onto the pipe on either side of the fitting and draws both pipes together onto the fitting in one easy motion. I have used it on literally hundreds of connections in my drip irrigation system and love how it makes the job so much easier.”
Chalmers also put his ingenuity to work to solve a messy household chore. “My fiancée brought two beautiful Siberian cats to our relationship, so I got a crash course in all things cats. The care of our cats included the cleaning of their drinking fountain. Once a week, the whole thing had to be completely disassembled, and the accumulated slime and muck had to be cleaned from the nooks and crannies of the fountain and pump. The fountain’s pump was noisy and the water needed to be refilled daily as well,” said Chalmers. He continued, “We briefly considered ditching the fountain and using the option that some cat owners resort to, which is leaving a faucet dripping all the time for the cats to drink from, but we didn’t want to waste water. This inspired me to invent something that would provide fresh flowing water for our cats to drink at their convenience, but didn’t require us to deal with the cleaning and hassle of an electric fountain. Out of this darkness, the ‘AquaPurr’ was born!”
According to Chalmers, the AquaPurr is placed next to your sink and connects at your faucet’s aerator using a diverter valve, allowing your faucet to operate in two modes. One mode allows full regular use of your sink; turn the lever of the diverter valve for the other mode and water is routed to the AquaPurr, giving your cat fresh water whenever it wants.
Chalmers explained, “When your cat steps on the AquaPurr base, its weight opens a flow valve on the bottom of the AquaPurr, and water then flows through the AquaPurr spigot. Your cat drinks from the spigot and the water it doesn’t drink flows down the sink drain. When your cat steps off the AquaPurr, the water flow stops.” The AquaPurr never needs cleaning or refilling and doesn’t use filters or electricity.
In addition to these projects, Chalmers enjoys working with wood and metal in his large workshop/barn, which he built to store his tractors, tools, and other materials. Chalmers added, “I usually have several projects going on at once, so having everything in one place has been a dream.”
For more information about AquaPurr, email Chalmers at steven@AquaPurr.net; for information about SprinklerRat, visit www.SprinklerRat.com.