Happy Monday. How was your Thanksgiving? Ah, forget it — Pickle Cat is here.
Pickle Cat is a technology demo by Australian developer Dennis Hotson. More to the point, it’s an animation of a cat in space, gaping in bug-eyed wonder as pickles float past. It was inspired by a classic GIF by TJ Fuller, depicting a different space-cat blasting away cucumbers with its laser eyes:
The bouncy synth soundtrack for Pickle Cat was pulled from YouTube. It’s by a band called Lazerhawk.
A series of viral videos that spread earlier this year revealed that cats panic and run upon seeing cucumbers — it’s said the long green objects look enough like snakes to trigger a cat’s flight instincts. Is Pickle Cat scared? Probably.
Most people would say these are the salient facts about Pickle Cat. But on Hacker News, a technology website for serious people where Pickle Cat was briefly the No. 1 topic of the weekend, the discussion had little to do with cats or with pickles.
Instead, it was about the software behind the cat.
It’s cool, they thought, that Hotson built this thing using pixi.js, and that he’d made a webGL application that didn’t crash or set their CPUs on fire. And that depth map he made in Illustrator to make the cat look 3-D — also impressive. (And terrifying: One poster compared it to seeing the cat’s “soul.”)
But wasn’t it inefficient to get the music from YouTube? He could have saved 7.8 MB of bandwidth if he’d used an mp3! And why didn’t the cat shoot lasers? They expected lasers!
There are no lasers. There’s a cat, and there are pickles. It’s pretty good.