faq Frequently-asked questions

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Frequently-asked questons

Where are the cats?
The cats roam around all over my house, so they're probably asleep on my bed, mulling around in the living room, or somewhere else. Have you seen the recent images page? There is a thumbnailed view of the last twelve hours of images taken by the CatCam; you'll almost certainly find a cat there.

Why is the image dark?
There's probably nothing wrong; it's just that the lights are off. I leave the kitchen light on during the day, even when I'm not home. I turn the lights off when I go to bed, though.

Why don't you/will you leave the lights on?
Electricity bill considerations aside, the reason I don't leave the lights on at night is because there's no point. Both cats sleep on or around my bed at night, so you wouldn't see anything but empty floor anyway. (Sorry to those on the other side of the planet.)

Why are the images on the recent page dark/not interesting?
The recent images are saved off based on how different they are from the last image taken. Because of gradual light level changes, or flaws with the images taken, sometimes this triggers recent images when not all that much has changed. This is normal, and doesn't mean that anything has gone wrong.

Why are the images not updating?
There are a few possibilities. One is that the CatCam is actually down because the machine which runs it has crashed (very rare) or that my fulltime Internet connection is temporarily down (not rare enough).

More likely, though, it's probably because your browser is caching the images and thus isn't refreshing them, since it already thinks that it has already retrieved them and thus there is no need. In some browsers, even clicking on the REFRESH or RELOAD button isn't sufficient. With Netscape Navigator, you'll have to SHIFT-RELOAD (OPTION-RELOAD on Macintosh). I haven't found any way to do this explicitly under Microsoft Internet Explorer, but in my experience Explorer automatically expires often enough so that you won't run into a problem viewing the CatCam. (If you do, let me know.) Also, very rarely I will disable the CatCam temporarily to make updates or do something experimental.

If you're sure that the image is not refreshing, it's likely that my connection is down, but feel free to drop me a line to make sure it's not something else.

Why are pictures broken or missing?
There shouldn't be. If there are any, let me know.

Why are your cats so fat?
Well, they eat a lot. Duh.

What's the stuff in the kitchen?
The cat food dish and water dish is to the center right of the image (the water dish is behind the food dish). There's a refrigerator in the kitchen to the right with a washcloth hanging from it (which will magically disappear from time to time when I do laundry). In the kitchen to the left are cabinets, drawers, and a dishwasher. To the extreme left you can occasionally see paper bags (that's where the trash is).

You'll also often see bits of stuff strewn around the floor. What can I say, I'm a slob, and my cats don't help the matter by knocking things off counters and batting them around.

I just saw somebody's legs -- whose were they?
Mine, probably. I rarely have people over; I usually go out.

Why does the image look streaked?
This is a "feature" of the Connectix Color QuickCam that I use to take the pictures. At low resolution (say, 320x240) there is no streaking, but at higher resolutions, there are occasionally noticeable streaks of color. Pay it no mind.

Why does the image look splotchy?
At this resolution the Color QuickCam's image might look a little fuzzy, but it shouldn't look splotchy. If it's looking really bad, it's probably because your monitor can't handle images with a depth of anywhere near 32 bits. You'll either have to configure your video card and monitor to handle a higher bit depth, or if either can't, buy a new video card and/or monitor. (Don't look at me, I didn't do it.)

I've heard of some other sites calling themselves CatCam. Which came first?
CatCam was the first Web cam to call itself CatCam (or with spelling variants), and as far as I know was the first cat-oriented Web cam in the history of the Web. If there were any other cat Web cams around at the time, they did an awfully good job of hiding from me ...

The CatCam went up in 1996 September, and has been running continuously ever since.

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