A while back, my luddite cat had a run-in with an R/C dragonfly. It left her jaded and frightened of the device, so much that we topped our Christmas tree with it to keep her ornament attacking at bay. It was remarkably effective. Since then we've relocated to an apartment and she has a new nemesis...the washing machine.
I think it's the spin cycle. The tiny water-efficient unit rotates with incredible speed, making a sound that's somewhere between a pneumatic drill and a jet engine launch. During the first load of laundry we washed, Anya (the cat) stood three feet away trembling in fear.
She's a tough cat, so it's a bit disturbing to see her scared.
Anya raised one paw, ready to smack the mechanical beast down if necessary. We couldn't approach her to assuage her fears with pets/snuggles. She was busy in a battle for her/our lives.
Since that evening, it's gotten better, but only a little. Frequently, she sits in front of the washer when it's not in use, studying the slumbering beast for any weakness and knowledge of what makes it tick.
It's just a lousy situation, as there's no good solution here. (Imagine that conversation with our landlord. "You have to buy our cat new laundry equipment, sorry.") We have to give it time-time for our very loved pet to become less and less intimidated by an electronic device that doesn't even know she exists. Because there's simply no way to tell an animal that inanimate objects mean them no harm.
And while it's kind of funny for a moment or two, eventually you start to feel like a real jerk for keeping such electronics around. Has anyone out there had similar issues with their pets and gadgets?