Global Value Chains and Catvocacy: Making progress toward solid slumber and international prosperity, one Smoochums at a time.

Globalized economies impose on many industries a variety of opportunities and obstacles. Efficiencies created by the global resource market, both resources from which to create products as well as the global demand for such products, have challenged acceptable business models throughout the world. However, the development of an industry that uniquely leverages the strengths of both a globalized economy and stimulates the development of strong, multi-faceted local economies might inspire world-wide economic development with fewer negative externalities than an effort to adapt an existing industry to global competition. With that goal in mind, I strongly advocate the adoption of domestic cats as night-time head support systems and intend in the following paragraphs to demonstrate the viability of the product model and describe some ways in which an industry oriented toward the development and implementation of cat pillows might participate in local and global economies.

Feline Nightime Head Support System
Feline Nightime Head Support System

The numerous properties of domestic cats that make their use as night-time head support systems valued are accounted for elsewhere, but the development of such products has mysteriously been missing from industries world-wide. Unquestionably, the development of a cat pillow industry would involve a number of secondary and tertiary markets, the resources of a global industrial support structure ranging from the high-tech to the bio-tech, and will necessarily involve a number of industrial and political governing bodies. I acknowledge the far-reaching impact of the future cat pillow industry not to dissuade potential participants, but rather to elucidate the potential trans- industrial, national and sociological benefits that would transpire after the successful development, launch and growth of the fledgling industry.

Initial estimates suggest that current domestic cats, while highly suited to casual use as head supports, need a great deal of refinement before industrial production and distribution might be implemented. For this reason, initial capital will need to be applied to the existing biotechnological infrastructure to engineer breeds of cat that will best survive the fits and starts of life as a new product. Desirable qualities that will be selectively cultivated include the stability of the internal structure of the cat, a predictable variation in both density and fluffiness, temperament, and longevity. Initial investments will be high, but will serve to involve the financial and scientific infrastructures endemic to the more developed areas of the world, thereby creating both the expectation and need for eventual success of the product (the self-fulfilling prophesy model). Potential locations for this stage of development include those less scrupulous scientific communities that can both embrace and weather the inevitable public outcry that often accompanies genetic manipulation.

Subsequent development will need to involve a number of more humble industries, most probably located within the developing world. In particular, the crafting of a suitable case in which to house the cat during somnolent activities will rely on the availability of affordable labor for manufacturing. This stage will, however, also require significant research and development. Specifically, the cases will need to involve histamine blocking technology and, most importantly, be claw resistant. Consequences of poor claw management, such as the feared “cat out of the bag” scenario, are poorly understood, so the structure of the case is not without due importance.

Heretofore, discussion has focused on distributing the development of the cat head support systems amongst a variety of existing global industries. By leveraging both the efficiencies of a global development network and by localizing tasks where existing structures best suited to their completion are, the cat pillow industry will experience a quick launch toward viability. Additionally, the product will invest a great deal of resources within the global economy, creating employment, scientific cooperation, and economic growth across the globe. However, as cat pillow development moves toward full scale implementation, a very different model will need to be followed. In particular, the short shelf life and the unavoidable difficulties moving large numbers of cats with any unity require local catteries to contend with regional demand and distribution. Most regions already have the infrastructure to manufacture a small number of cats annually, but, to manage increased demand and impose industry quality standards this existing system will need to be expanded and made more sophisticated. I propose the creation of a Cat Cottages Consortium, an organization able to support the franchising of small, independently owned catteries. The CCC would provide initial, pre-approved toms and queens for breeding, manage the movement of un-bagged cats between cattery and assembly plant, and provide franchises with other raw materials for the development of healthy cats. The CCC, with the full support of the cattery community, would be able to negotiate pricing for foodstuffs, sand boxes, and fuzzy mice much more efficiently than isolated catteries, while enabling the local, small- scale nature of cat husbandry and rearing.

From there, the fun begins. Natural variation between cat pillows will result in a collector culture, increasing demand for diversity within the product’s stock and inter-regional trade. Because of the difficulties in long range transport, new tourism industries serving those who want to experience the panoply of potential pillow experiences will spring up on the “cat surfing” model. Fashionable models will be developed by designers such as Marc Jacobs, Junya Watanabe, Tommy Hillfiger and other international fashion houses.

The development of the cat pillow industry is not without some foreseeable complications. A particular issue of concern would be the claim various areas of the world would lay to regional varieties of cat pillows. While Persian cats, for example, will most probably be too bony for widespread use as pillows, Bengals, Russian Blues, Havana Browns and Turkish Angoras all carry with them both the proper fluffiness and heft to withstand a hard night’s sleep, as well as a cultural heritage that may make global manufacture and distribution complicated. Without knowing the severity of the inevitable regional claims to cat pillow industry control, I support an exploratory committee of industry representatives begin outreach to relevant governments and intergovernmental powers.

The creation of wealth throughout this process will not be limited to those at the top of the chain, but rather the cat night-time head support system industry uniquely leverages the global and local economies prevalent in the 21st century to improve quality of life and well-being across socio- economic, regional and industrial boundaries.

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