You know those times when you’re pondering life and you start to wonder, “What would it be like to be a cat?” Well, the tech boffins over at the Hiroshima company in Japan have taken us one step closer to experiencing the world as a feline with the Cat Street View map service.
It’s set in Onomichi City — which is known for its amiable street cat population — and, as its name suggests, runs like Google Maps but from a slinky, low-down cat’s point of view.
When I tried this cat’s-eye view of the world, I was greeted by the ambient hustle and bustle background noise of a city and a friendly meow. Using the cat’s paw pointer, I began to navigate around the streets of a shopping district much in the same way as using the street view in Google Maps.
A handy map in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen details points of feline interest, and you can meet a number of local cats (although their profiles are in Japanese).
On my first jaunt, I was about to sashay up to a bicycle and rub my face against it, when I came across this local lounge kitty.
This salty dude, on the other hand, did not seem too pleased that I was invading his retail space.
While this tuxedo chap (who you can just about see holding fort by the register) seemed happy to welcome me into his store — although I was a little put off by the grubby floors.
Maybe because of popular demand — because, you know, who wouldn’t want to explore a city as a cat — the application is a little slow and clunky at the moment. Visit the Cat Street View site to play around with it for yourself.
About Phillip Mlynar: The self-appointed world’s foremost expert on rappers’ cats. When not penning posts on rap music, he can be found building DIY cat towers for his adopted domestic shorthair, Mimosa, and collecting Le Creuset cookware (in red). He has also invented cat sushi, but it’s not quite what you think it is.