5 - Ragdoll
The room is of a medium size and decorated in a way which seems familiar and welcoming to you; there is a comforting smell of freshly baked madeleines in the air and the temperature of the room is perfect. There are rows of seating arranged neatly in the middle of the room in front of a screen, the projection is due to start in a few minutes.
You amble over at a comfortable pace, pick out the perfect chair and sit yourself down. The seat is of the perfect dimensions for your body as if it had been made to measure and the fabric covering is soft and embraces your skin delicately.
The lights dim and a projected image comes into focus on the screen. The clip starts to play...
The video shows a small white room. The room is spotless and in the corner there is a young cat. The cat appears to be sleeping. After a few seconds it stretches its front paws forwards and yawns.
The video cuts to a scientist in a lab coat; the academic explains that they have been studying happiness for 20 years and that finally they have made a breakthrough in this important field of research thanks to a £500 grant from the Arts Council. This research has proved that true happiness can be attained by ensuring that all of an organism's needs are continuously met.
The video cuts back to the cat whilst the well-respected scientist continues to provide contextual information. It is explained that a cat only has a small number of needs; unlike other mammals a cat doesn't require companionship and is actually most happy when left alone so that it can relax in peace and quiet and sleep for 18 hours a day. The needs of a cat are simple: a safe, sheltered, warm space with a steady supply of food. The environment in the video has been ascertained to best meet the first three needs of a cat.
At this moment, a hatch opens on one side of the room and a tube appears. The cat sprints over to the tube. After a few seconds some premium cat food slides out of the tube and falls onto the floor - the cat devours the food in about 10 seconds. The video cuts back to the learned man of science who says that examining the cat's behaviour over time and through analysis of cortisol levels in the cat's fur they found that there were problems with this arrangement. As soon as the cat has eaten the food it starts to worry about when its next meal will arrive and as such is only in a truly happy state for a couple of seconds each day.
This discovery led to further refinements being made to the cat's realm in order to ensure that it is the happiest sentient being in the world. The video cuts back to the cat in the room: there are now four tubes continuously dispensing cat food to allay the cats fears of an impending food shortage. The delighted cat wolfs down the food as it lands on the floor of the room. However, after about 30 seconds the cat is unable to keep up. The room starts to fill up with cat food. After a minute the food is up to the cat's midriff.
After another minute the cat is visibly starting to panic as the level of the wet food keeps augmenting. The cat starts to try and jump up the wall in a bid to escape, however, each time it lands back down on the ground it sinks further down into the sea of food...
A further five minutes pass... Finally all that can be seen in the room is a two meter deep pool of cat food.
The lights come back on and the video ends on a screen which says "For Marcel".