If you’ve read Yahoo recently, seen my Facebook statuses, or gotten a text from me freaking out about this, you already know what I’m talking about. iPetcompanion.com is a website where you can play with cats live from your computer. Got allergies? Hate cats? Don’t want a litter box? Already have several cats but just can’t get enough of them? Need to waste time online? This site is for you.
Once on the home page you have several cities to choose from to stalk their pussies. Think the LA cats will be fabulous, or maybe the Iowa cats are a little more down to earth? It’s up to you to choose.
Now that you’ve chosen a specific shelter, you’ve got a live feed to kittyland, where you can watch for hours as the cats do their thing. (Or sometimes a live feed of the inside of a potato sack if a human is in the room).
To start playing, just click on the Toy and you’ll be added to the queue. The night I joined there was an hour an half wait to get control of the camera and toys. Forty-three other people were in front of me waiting.
So like any good investigative journalist I joined in on the conversation. In a box next to kittycam you can chat live with other people waiting. I may not be Barbara Walters, Oprah or Christian Amanpour but I tried my best to get the inside scoop on who these people were. I wanted to find out why someone would wait more than an hour to play with cats online. (Obviously I was doing the same thing…but it was for journalistic opportunities.) The people I talked to ranged in age from 16-43, and surprisingly they weren’t all women. Almost all of them had pets of their own, one guy named Marvin claimed to have 5 cats, 2 dogs, 2 sugar gliders, and 18 birds, though he could have been pulling my tail. Get it…. meow! Another couldn’t have cats because her boyfriend was allergic. And then there was the many, many trolls with usernames like “Cats Stink!” or “Kitty Killer” who would continuously post comments like “look at that filthy creature, cleaning it’s behind”. Most people were smart enough to ignore. But like all chat rooms, arguments erupted, one about Justin Beiber and how bad his music was.
Another girl lived in Oregon and was considering adopting so she was checking out the cats. Which is basically the point of the whole thing. Getting people to the site, raising awareness, and having them fall in love with cyber kitty so they adopt or donate money.
After my hour and half wait, I finally got control of the reigns. You can move the camera to point anywhere in the room and zoom-in so close you can almost see the fleas. You also have control over the toys, by holding and pressing down a number, that toy starts spinning or flipping or doing whatever it does. The not so great part, it that you only get 2 minutes. I could barely figure out how everything worked by the time my power was over.
Wouldn’t this be awesome if you could have this for your pets at home, like Angela from The Office checking on her cats?
Oh wait, you can! For $400 and a $5/monthly fee you can have this installed in your home so you can find out what you’re animals do all day. No waiting in the queue. You have private access to the video stream which you can also share with your friends if you actually need to get some work done. It’s sold out right now or it would be on the way to my apartment.
So, if you’ve got some spare time, you’re bored or you just need a smile, head on over to iPet Companion to watch the action. It’s pretty meowtastic.