They Invented What? (No. 204)
U.S. Pat. No. 4,872,422: Scratching and petting device for household pets.
What I claim is:
1. A mechanism for scratching and petting household pets comprising in combination:
an elongate base having means for mounting in a vertical position on a structural member;
an elongate “T” shaped petting arm leg extending a spaced distance from the base;
a compound petting arm carried by a petting arm bracket slidably disposed on the petting arm leg of the base and having means for adjustable vertical motion on the petting arm leg of the base, said petting arm being hingeably carried by said petting arm bracket and having an outer arm portion pivotally communicating with an inner arm portion with means to reciprocatably move said outer arm portion through a predetermined arcuate course relative to the inner arm portion; and
a petting element carried by the outermost part of the outer arm portion of the petting arm, said petting element biased to a horizontal position but pivotally movable in a vertical plane against such bias.
2. The invention of claim 1 wherein the means of moving the outer arm portion of the petting arm relative to the inner arm portion comprise mechanical means biasing the outer arm portion to a first position and a motor carried by one arm to drive a gear having teeth about a portion of its periphery that meshedly intercommunicate with a tongue element of the other arm that defines teeth about part of its periphery to intercommunicate with the motor driven gear to move the outer arm portion to a second position against its bias and thereafter allow return to the first position by reason of said bias.
3. The invention of claim 2 further characterized by the motor being electrically driven and controlled by a position sensing switch that senses the presence of an animal in petting position relative to said device to activate the motor responsive to such condition.
4. The invention of claim 1 having a second support bracket carried by the petting arm leg for adjustable vertical positioning with a flexible elongate support element communicating angularly downwardly therefrom to the petting arm to maintain the petting arm in a horizontal position and allow its motion upwardly therefrom.
5. A device for scratching and petting small household pets comprising in combination:
an elongate base formed of at least two elongate intercommunicating legs, at least one of said legs having means for fastening to a structural support to vertically position the second leg so that it extends a spaced distance from the structural support, said second leg defining in its outer part a rack element and having configuration to slidably maintain a petting arm bracket in adjustable vertical position thereon;
a compound petting arm hingeably interconnected with a petting arm bracket carried for vertical motion on the petting arm leg of the base, said petting arm being hingeably connected to the petting arm bracket for motion from a depending position adjacent the base to a horizontal extended position perpendicular to the base, and said petting arm having an inner arm portion pivotally interconnected with an outer arm portion with means to pivot the outer arm through a limited predetermined arc relative to the inner arm portion.
6. The invention of claim 5 further characterized by the petting arm having a petting element carried for vertical pivotal motion and extending outwardly from the outermost part of the petting arm, said petting element being biased to a position parallel to the petting arm but pivotally movable against its bias.
7. The invention of claim 5 further characterized by the pivotal interconnection of inner portion and outer portion of the petting arm comprising a tongue defined by one petting arm portion extending into a yoke defined by the other adjacent petting arm element with a pivotal axle extending therebetween and said tongue having first gear teeth about a part of its vertical outer periphery adapted to intermesh with adjacent second gear means having teeth about a part of the second gear periphery, and associated spring means to maintain said outer portion of the petting arm in a first position from which it is reciprocally arcuately moved by said gear means, and motor means of driving said second gear means.
8. The invention of claim 5 further having a support bracket vertically adjustably movable along the second leg of the base with a flexible elongate support element extending downwardly therefrom to releasably intercommunicate with the petting arm structure to prevent the petting arm structure from moving downwardly below a horizontal position but allow it to move upwardly from a horizontal position against its gravity bias.