After discussing the matter with some friends and researching on the internet, we decided to try the Scarecrow Sprinkler to try and keep cats out of the sandbox. It was on sale for half off at and it looked like it’d be fun for the kids, even if it didn’t keep cats away. I opened it up on Saturday when the sun was shining everyone was here for Reece’s birthday party and I tried to document some of our test runs. Here is Micah triggering it with a broom:

Once we I was satisfied with it I placed it in the ground facing the sandbox. Here’s Isaac and a neighbor kid taunting the Scarecrow after that:

Looks pretty fun, doesn’t it? It’s probably fortunate that I didn’t document all of our testing. You see, we starting playing with it by rolling balls in front of it, right in plain view of Jason and Reece (both not quite two years old). Jason and Reece like to chase balls, you see, and they chased them right into the territory of The Scarecrow. And The Scarecrow did it’s job. Like you would expect of any heartless and indiscriminant machine, it took no pity on the ignorance of poor toddlers. I probably shouldn’t point out that if you look close in those previous videos you can see that The Scarecrow stands right about two-year old face height. yes, they both took a blast of cold Scarecrow fury right in the head. Did I feel bad? Yes. But it was warm outside and they seemed to recover pretty quickly after their unexpected face shots. They eventually learned to keep their distance, and we learned how to quickly disable The Scarecrow when they got too close. It was educational for all. And kind of funny, really. I mean, c’mon, it was just a little water. They’re kids, they bounce back. Therapy isn’t that expensive.

I think the scarecrow will work to keep cats way, but my hose is a little too leaky for me to want to leave it on all day and night so The Scarecrow can remain armed. That can probably be fixed. Other than that little issue, I think it’s pure genius and I wish I was making and selling Scarecrows. Product testing would be really fun (no, I wouldn’t use two year-olds).

Oh, and in other news, a friend took a closer look at some weeds in our backyard that we haven’t quite gotten to this spring, and told us they were catnip. The Internet seems to confirm it too. Unbelievable.


Julie June 16, 2008 at 8:07 p.m.

I can't believe you have catnip in your back yard! That is too funny!

dad June 16, 2008 at 8:16 p.m.

How did catnip get in your backyard? I hope the bird sprinkler keeps that pesky kitty out of the sandbox. Thanks for a great weekend.

Bryan June 17, 2008 at 9:07 a.m.

Well, Wikipedia says that catnip, "is now common in North America as a weed." And let me tell you, all kinds of weeds grow very well here in Vancouver.

To be honest, we haven't been very aggressive with this weed because it smells nice and minty and doesn't have any thorns or anything. I've always thought that maybe the previous owners of the house had planted this minty plant on purpose and maybe we should leave it. Ha!

Anyway, here's the wikipedia article if you are interested:

Here are some pictures of it: