Well, as might be expected, this just triggered a fresh round of sniping from the usual naysayers. Which pushed the brilliant young Professor Martin to even greater heights of ingenuity:
"I've been thinking about this cat/toast business for a while. In the buttered toast case, it's the butter that causes it to land buttered side down - it doesn't have to be toast, the theory works equally well with Jacob's crackers. So to save money you just miss out the toast - and butter the cats.
Also, should there be an imbalance between the effects of cat and butter, there are other substances that have a stronger affinity for carpet. Probability of carpet impact is determined by the following simple formula: p = s * tau(t)/t? where p is the probability of carpet impact, s is the "stain" value of the toast-covering substance - an indicator of the effectiveness of the toast topping in permanently staining the carpet.
Chicken Tikka Masala, for example, has a very high s value, while the s value of water is zero.
t and tau(t) indicate the tone of the carpet and topping - the value of p being strongly related to the relationship between the colour of the carpet and topping, as even chicken tikka masala won't cause a permanent and obvious stain if the carpet is the same colour.
So it is obvious that the probability of carpet impact is maximised if you use chicken tikka masala and a white carpet - in fact this combination gives a p value of one, which is the same as the probability of a cat landing on its feet.
Therefore a cat with chicken tikka masala on its back will be certain to hover in mid air, while there could be problems with buttered toast as the toast may fall off the cat, causing a terrible monorail crash resulting in nauseating images of members of the royal family visiting accident victims in hospital, and politicians saying it wouldn't have happened if their party was in power as there would have been more investment in cat-toast glue research.
Therefore it is in the interests not only of public safety but also public sanity if the buttered toast on cats idea is scrapped, to be replaced by a monorail powered by cats smeared with chicken tikka masala floating above a rail made from white shag pile carpet. "
As always, each new visionary technology had its detractors. Snide remarks in internet forums:
Well I think this is total crap, because what happens when the cat dies?! Nobody ever said that dead cats always land on their feet.
What if the cat licks the butter off the toast? (a problem we have encountered here at Fox Labs, it must be admitted)
But it is through difficulties that progress is made. The first significant modification exploits the well-known universal attraction between white shirts and spaghetti sauce. Professor RyanO suggests:
"The cat/buttered toast unit will certainly hover above the ground, spinning eternally, but in order to add propulsion, you need to install a new unit, powered by tomato sauce and expensive white Italian shirts.
First dress the cat in your most precious and virgin-white shirt. Then strap the buttered toast to his back - he should hover above the ground. You now need to carefully affix a mechanism which propels tomato sauce in the direction you want the cat to travel. (It should be relatively easy to get the spinning motion of the cat/toast unit to power this mechanism). The cat will instantly be propelled in the direction of the tomato sauce! Replace the wheels of your automobile with four of these cat/toast/white shirt/tomato sauce units and you have an excellent hover-car which should never need refuelling!
When a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet, and when toast is dropped, it always lands buttered side down. Therefore, if a slice of toast is strapped to a cat's back, buttered side up, and the animal is then dropped, the two opposing forces will cause it to hover, spinning inches above the ground. If enough toast-laden felines were used, they could form the basis of a high-speed monorail system, just like those MAGLEV bullet trains.