Many people consider themselves animal lovers, but one little girl in the Plantsville section of Southington has taken her passion for cats a step further by creating an invention to help pets.
Ten-year-old Leighann Melanson has one true love.
“I don't think words can even describe how much I love my cats and just cats in general. They are amazing,” Leighann said.
So naturally, she took on a feline philosophy, channeling her three rescue cats, when coming up with the purrrfect idea for her fifth-grade invention convention.
“The invention was really to ... compromise between us and the cats,” said Leighann.
A cat compromise her mom, Stephanie Melanson, had been begging for.
“I asked her please, please help me out and make something to stop the drinking from the sink thing,” said Stephanie.
Lexie and the other cats were constantly on the counter and drinking out of the kitchen sink. Leighann thought the perfect solution would be a drinking fountain for the cats.
“So I made this so that they wouldn't waste water and they wouldn't waste time,” said Leighann.
She created Lexie’s Fountain. Making a pressure plate with plexiglass and an old picture frame. She then took a yard fountain and reworked the submersible pump with a copper spout. Therefore, when the cat steps on the plate, the water flows into the bowl.
“It kind of sucks in the water and shoots it up here. It just recycles the water over and over again,” said Leighann.
“It's incredible! She's amazing,” said Stephanie.
Her parents should be proud, the invention took Leighann to the state competition. With no pet sponsors, she didn’t make it to the national round. Still, she has the right attitude when it comes to next year.
“I hope that I'll find a sponsor to sponsor all the pets at invention convention,” said Leighann.
Making products for animals a priority and spreading the message that rescue pets deserve the love they give all of us.
“Pets deserve more,” said Leighann.
On August 18, NBC Connecticut and Telemundo Connecticut are teaming up with the Connecticut Humane Society and dozens of animal organizations. Many shelters will offer reduced fees for adoption. Hundreds of pets will be available for adoption. Last year in Connecticut, over 1,100 pets found their forever homes during Clear the Shelters.
If you are interested in sponsoring pet inventions at the Connecticut Invention Convention, please contact Ron Katz, the program’s Executive Director.