Edward Lowe, 75, Kitty Litter discoverer
Edward Lowe, whose accidental discovery of a product he called Kitty Litter made cats more welcome household company and created a half-billion dollar industry, died on Wednesday at a hospital in Sarasota, Fla. He was 75 and had divided his time between homes in Arcadia, Fla., and Cassopolis, Mich. His son Tom said the cause was complications from surgery for cerebral hemorrhage.
In a story he always relished telling, Mr. Lowe, then a 27-year-old Navy veteran who had been working in his father's sawdust business, was visited by a cat-loving neighbor whose cat's sand box had frozen.
She asked him for some sawdust, but on a sudden inspiration he suggested she try something he had in the trunk of his car, a bag of kiln-dried granulated clay, a highly absorbent mineral that his father sold in his business.
When she returned a few days later for more, Mr. Lowe thought he might be onto something. To find out, he filled 10 sacks, wrote the words "Kitty Litter" on the side and took them to a local store. When customers returned asking for "Kitty Litter" by name, a business and a brand were born.