Caturday felid trifecta: Turning your back on a lion; Japan’s stunning digital cat billboard; Hank gets groomed; and lagniappe

July 17, 2021 • 9:53 am

We have a short Caturday felid today, comprising three videos.

Dean Schneider is a Swiss entrepreneur who engages in wildlife rescue. In this video, an apparently friendly lion still stalks him, but it’s all in fun. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!


From the San Diego Union Tribune we have an article about this amazing digital billboard in Japan. It’s not advertising anything; the creators merely wanted to make people feel good. And apparently it does. From the story:

Ryoko Kikuchi was strolling home from a Tokyo movie theater when she saw a cat the size of a yacht strutting high above the sidewalk, coyly licking its paws.

“The way it was meowing was too cute to bear,” she said.

A lot of people in Tokyo feel the same way, no matter that the cat is just a bunch of pixels on a billboard. The 4K display does not officially “open” until Monday, but it has already drawn socially distanced crowds — and inspired many social media posts — since its installation last month.

The digital calico behaves a bit like an actual cat, in the sense that it does whatever it pleases. Visitors are only treated to a few brief appearances per hour, in between a stream of advertisements and music videos.

The cat yawns here and there, and at 1 a.m. it drops off to sleep for about six hours, resting its head on white paws that hug the side of what appears to be an open-air perch near the Shinjuku subway station. (The three-dimensional look is an illusion created by a curved, 26-by-62-foot LED screen.)

It also talks, greeting pedestrians with “nyannichiwa.” That is a blend of “konnichiwa,” or hello, and “nyan,” Japanese for “meow.”

Unlike many of the flashing billboards and signs in the area, the cat isn’t advertising a specific product or brand.

Takayuki Ohkawa, a spokesman for the Japanese conglomerate Unika, one of the two companies running the feline display, said that the cat does not have an official name. (Fans have called it “Shinjuku east exit cat,” after the station.)

“There are many reasons we decided to display the cat, but one of the big reasons is that with corona, the world became very dark,” Ohkawa added, referring to the coronavirus pandemic. “Through the cat display, we wanted to revive Shinjuku and make it brighter.”

Now I’m not sure exactly how it works, but I’d love to have one in Chicago.

You can find the livestream here (it was hard to locate), but I can’t find the cat’s Twitter account. Perhaps a reader can put it below.


Finally Scott, who sent this video, notes: “This is a channel for a professional groomer of pets. Trigger warning, there be d*gs about! Emoji “.  Meet Hank, a “senior diabetic cat”. Hanks, unlike most cats, loves the blow dryer, and even lifts his leg so his belly can be dried. He’s remarkably compliant about being combed and having his nails clipped, too.

Now this is a woman who knows how to groom a cat. She even sprays Hank with kitty cologne after the grooming is done.

I suppose his hijab is there to prevent water and soap from getting in his eyes, but I’m not sure.


Lagniappe: Reader Elsie writes in:

You mentioned Sir Joshua Reynolds’ birthday (July 16, 1723) and asked for any painting by him of a cat. “Felina with a Kitten” (1788) is a Reynolds painting in the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The kitten doesn’t look very happy, though.

h/t: Barry, Scott, Susan

12 thoughts on “Caturday felid trifecta: Turning your back on a lion; Japan’s stunning digital cat billboard; Hank gets groomed; and lagniappe

  1. I think Hank could’ve done without the cologne. My Carmen Dingle absolutely hates the smell of any hand lotion I’ve put on my hands. I

    1. Our cat seems to like the smell of toothpaste.
      I brush my teeth, and rinse the brush, just before going to bed; which is when the cat hops on the bed. And she will sniff carefully and interestedly at my hands.
      My wife says one of her cat books mentions that some cats like the smell of mint.

    1. Yeah, the trick is it’s a curved billboard that has graphics of a square opening. When viewed at just the right angle you interpret the (fake) square opening as part of the building.

  2. Don’t really get all that washing of the cat. We have had cats for many years and never did the washing business. Combing and all that yes but showers? Most cats would not hang around for that.

  3. I think Hank’s head covering protects his ears from the dryer blower.
    I’m net even capable of clipping nails on my crew. Baths i’d be shredded.

    Interesting the Reynolds painting has a girl with a name so similar to a cat (feline).

  4. Well, definitely most cats are not like that cat at the groomers.
    Once when I was picking our d*g up from the groomers, there was a formerly long-haired cat in the grooming area, and it was tethered up onto a table so the groomer could do the finishing touches. It has received a lion-cut, and it was in abject misery while being surrounded by curious but friendly dogs who just wanted to sniff it. An “if you think you are having a bad day” picture, if ever there was one.

  5. As soon as I saw it in the Mainichi newspaper I just KNEW it would be at Studio Alba in E. Shinjuku. I used to live there and that’s where they keep ALL the coolest stuff.
    It’d be great in Times Square or next to your silver bean thingy* in Chicago. 😉
    *Which I love, btw.

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