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WebClawer, the cat edition: Sockington takes Twitter by storm, cat falls 26 stories and lives, winged cat found in China

June 1, 2009 |  7:52 pm


Maybe it's just coincidence, or maybe cats' belief in their own superiority is rubbing off on the rest of the world -- either way, they seem to have taken over the news lately.  And we're not just talking viral video:

-- Sockington the cat may not quite be at Ashton Kutcher's level yet, but he's become something of a Twitter sensation nonetheless.  Sockington's 140-characters-or-fewer musings have amassed him a following of more than half a million (sample Tweet: "DID YOU HEAR THE ONE ABOUT THE TIME YOU WANTED TO SIT SOMEWHERE AND I WAS THERE ALREADY well you have now zzzzzzzzzzzzzz").  While the Twitter-pet phenomenon is a bit of a mystery to us (many of @LATunleashed's followers are of the feline and canine persuasions, so we've given the matter some thought), we can't help but be impressed by Sockington's success.  "He's kind of functioning like a 'Garfield' comic," says his owner (and, we assume, typist) Jason Scott. "He's like the 21st century Garfield."  (Associated Press)

-- A cat in the Chinese city of Chongqing apparently began to sprout prominent "wings" from his shoulders when he was about a year old.  (Don't worry: cats' bone structure is heavy enough to prevent them from flying, wings or not.)  One Simpsons-esque theory for the strange growths is that the cat's mother was exposed to mutation-causing chemicals before his birth; Chongqing is one of the world's most heavily polluted cities.  Another, perhaps equally creepy, theory is that the strange appendages actually represent the body of a kitty sibling that never fully formed in utero.  (Discover )

-- Dutch "artist" Katinka Simonse (also known as Tinkebell) incurred -- rightfully -- the wrath of animal lovers in 2004 when she killed and skinned her own pet cat to make a purse in a project she called "My dearest cat Pinkeltje."  Now she's back in the outrage game with the release of a new book, "Dearest Tinkebell," in which she has assembled nearly 1,000 pieces of hate mail she received after the purse episode.  The kicker: along with the hate mail, she has included the senders' personal information, including names, ages, addresses, and links to personal MySpace and YouTube profiles.  Simonse insists that the information "has been obtained legally," but the book's original publisher pulled out over privacy and copyright concerns.  Simonse published it herself and says she's unconcerned about the prospect of a court case over privacy issues.  (NRC Handelsblad)

-- A tiny cat named Bitsy may soon officially become the World's Smallest Cat.  The 1 1/2-pound, 6 1/2-inch-tall Bitsy must now go head-to-head with the current Guinness record-holder, a Louisiana cat who weighs 3 pounds but is shorter lengthwise than Bitsy.  Guinness is expected to take six weeks to determine which cat is smaller.  (AOL News)

-- A cat named Lucky (no, seriously) survived a 26-story fall from the window of his owner's New York City apartment.  Lucky's owner, Keri Hostetler, had apparently left the window open about 6 inches, and he ambled out onto the ledge.  Window washers working across the street caught the fall that followed on film; Lucky landed on a balcony below with only minor injuries and has since returned home from a veterinary hospital.  "No windows ever open, ever again," Hostetler told WABC New York. Play him off, Keyboard Cat!

--Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Sockington with his Twitter page.  Credit: Jason Scott/Associated Press.

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