"I know you'll have trouble taking me seriously but it seems a viable, virtually untapped resource and I think we should explore it," said Governor-Elect Jerry Brown in a speech to a group of California's county and civic utilities commissioners.
"We have literally millions of feral cats running around who could be installed in lightweight cylinders which, when turned, will generate a good 20% of all the electricity our State needs," he optimistically advised.
Reassuring listeners that it would all be done in a humane fashion overseen by animal rights organizations who would report back to the public, Brown painted a picture of huge, multi-level warehouses (possibly unused armories and abandoned factories) with tens of thousands of cats getting fresh air, good food and lots of healthy exercise, while turning cyclinders which would generate hydrostatic electricity.
"There are millions of uncared-for felines out there starving, killing squirrels and birds and becoming wedged between the tread of our Michelins who could live useful, productive lives," said Brown.
Animal rights spokesperson Maureen Manx said she had concerns about the cats being properly fed and their cylinders being kept clean, but had questions about what would be done to cats who became "to old to crank out the kilowatts."
The Tennis Racket divisions of the Wilson and Spalding Sporting Goods companies are planning to cosponsor the operation.