Monday 19 August 2013

Non-Quantum, Feline Based Encryption Protocol


Whilst the common house cat, Felis silvestris catus, has a long standing association with quantum superpositions and the associated applications in cryptography, it has so far failed to substantially add to the development of the field, a situation known as the Wigner's Cat Paradox.[citation-needed]
  The author demonstrates a purely classical encryption method which allows a message to be encoded in such a way as to be not only encrypted, but unreadable by any party for a period of days.


Alice and Bob wish to share a message without a third party, Eve, being able to read it should she intercept it.  These names are traditional in cryptography (A, B and Evesdropper), and this technique requires a further person, Henry.  Henry is, in this case, a rather smart stripey black and gold cat.

Alice is a very clever biologist, and has carefully encoded the data she wishes to send into the DNA that codes for the pattern of stripes in Henry's back.  This data may, clearly, be encrypted itself, the stripes simply code the ones and zeroes.  Increased per-packet data density may be gained if technology permits defining hair colour at a follicular level, with a theoretical maximum in the tens of Megabits per Henry.

I'm sure the geneticists are all over this already, they know what they're doing.

When Alice has encoded her message into Henry she encrypts it by removing Henry's fur in a humane and loving manner.  Not shaving, cats really don't like that. Alice is kind and uses a special catnip scented depilatory cream that he loves.  Oh stop complaining, Schroedinger may or may not have killed his cat.

Now Alice sends Henry to Bob.  Henry can travel how he wants, either by having a mad-cap solo cross country adventure, a dark and moody road-trip with a friend or by luxury yacht.  Up to him.  See?  Schroedinger put his in a box, but Henry gets to have adventures.

Henry's fur will take around a week before any pattern becomes visible, even on close inspection.  For this period the message will not be readable by sight, although it could be recovered from a sample of Henry's DNA.  Current DNA sequencing and searching is not currently able to decode binary information from the stripes on a cat.[please-tell-me-I'm-wrong]

Upon his fur regrowing Henry gets a huge bag of catnip, a medal, and the run of Balmoral.


  1. This would be brilliant apart from the one tiny flaw. You depilate, shave, or otherwise embalden Henry... and his skin shows the colours of his stripes. He's still transmitting!

  2. Ha! You're right of course, I hadn't realised that was the case! There's a photo of a shaved striped cat here: (shaved by a vet prior to being speyed).