I get where they are coming from
Back in the days of my Spectrum and cassettes, if the the cassette recorder was having a bad day and I was repeatedly was getting the 'R Tape Loading Error', I had a little ritual. I'd read somewhere that cats could produce static in their fur, and that static was bad for the tape loading. So I'd go and find the cat, hold her flat on the floor to 'earth' her, and if I could keep her there for 5 minutes without wriggling then the tape would definitely work.
Modest cat torture (Cuddling) was what it took for a single 10 year old to work a ZX Spectrum. Maybe a multi-billion science project requires a human sacrifice ritual.