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L.A. Animal Shelter Is Selling iPad Art Created by Cats (and People Are Buying It)

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Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 10:35 AM
click to enlarge LOL? - SPCALA
  • spcaLA
  • LOL?

So there's this iPad app called "Paint for Cats."

Here's how it works: A little mouse scampers across the screen, prompting your cat (whom you must coerce into sitting still in front of your iPad) to take a whack at it. When paw hits iPad, the mouse makes a little squeak (incentives!) and a splotch of color shows up. And so on and so on, until you have a full screen of cat art.

A non-profit animal shelter in L.A. called the Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) has taken this tomfoolery to the next level:

They actually had Animal Planet film the paint sesh in progress -- the segment will be aired Saturday night at 8 p.m. -- and are now selling the masterworks as greeting cards.

SpcaLA spokeswoman Ana Bustilloz says that since an Associated Press piece on the cats was unleashed onto the Internet yesterday, the shelter has already sold over 100 packs of cards. They go for $5.99 each.

(On that note, the AP must have had a really slow news day yesterday -- or must finally be understanding that the Internet will click the crap out of anything relating to cats.)

So the shelter wins, Animal Planet wins and the appsters behind "Paint for Cats" definitely win. Can you say cross-promotion?

But Bustilloz insists that "for me personally, it's for my shelter and my cats. ... The cats are really engaged by it."

Indeed they are. Photo evidence:

click to enlarge SPCALA
  • spcaLA
click to enlarge SPCALA
  • spcaLA
click to enlarge SPCALA
  • spcaLA

Update: Let it be known that these are not your ordinary cats.

SpcaLA is a private non-profit organization that operates two shelters -- one in Long Beach and one in Hawthorne -- outside of the L.A. County Department of Animal Care & Control.

Whereas county shelters have to round up and deal with every last stray on the block (a "Herculean task," says Bustilloz), spcaLA gets to essentially pick and choose their crop from overflowing shelters at nearby cities.

"We have amazing pets here," says the spcaLA spokeswoman. "Twenty-five percent of our shelter pets are purebred." The cats and dogs at spcaLA are specially trained, socialized and neutered for your adopting pleasures.

So it's no wonder Study in Feather Toys and Movement in Catnip are so damn prodigious:

click to enlarge SPCALA
  • spcaLA
click to enlarge SPCALA
  • spcaLA

Compare, now, to the work of your average YouTube cat.

The difference is clear.

[@simone_electra / swilson@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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