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Japan just created a Google Street View for cats

Truly nothing is im-paw-ssible.

Travel through Hiroshima as a cat.
Travel through Hiroshima as a cat.
Hiroshima Tourism Board

Do cats need maps? That's the question inherently raised by Hiroshima prefecture's tourism board, which made a map for cats — think Google Street View positioned at a cat’s height instead of a car's — looking to explore the shops and restaurants in the city of Onomichi.

Hiroshima cat map

Visiting Hiroshima's new cat street view map.

Before you balk or remind yourself that you don't like cats, please give the art of catography a chance. There are many bizarre maps in the world — like those of UFO sightings and illustrated state maps — but this is my new favorite. Let me show you why.

Let's begin with a bird's-eye view of Onomichi, a perspective humans have suspiciously favored in mapmaking for centuries.

A bird's-eye view of where cats roam in Onomichi, Japan.

Hiroshima Tourism Board

Meow we can see things from a cat's-eye view for the first time ever.

Ah, another cat!

Look, it's another cat!

A cat map is cooler than whatever those highfalutin birds ever offered us.

With this map, you get a furry friend to walk around with.

Hiroshima Cat Map

The key indicates where cat pals live along the way:

A new friend (or enemy) is always nearby.

There are currently three paths to take in the map, with more paths to come. Along with icons for cats to visit, the larger map also indicates special shops you can't miss.

Every place in the world deserves a cat map.

Hiroshima will publish more cat maps this October, according to the Wall Street Journal. Next, a global cat map? Who knows. The world is truly our oyster.

Each cat has a personal profile of sorts embedded in the map. It's like FourSquare, but for cats.

Having a bad day?

I learned two lessons about the nature of cat lifestyles by browsing the maps. First, everything is a door. For example, this wooden fence looks like a series of open doors:

The world opens up to you when you're so low to the ground.

Second, roads are entirely too big when you're so small:

Why the cat didn't cross the road: It's too big!

At the very least, Hiroshima's cat maps prove that humans can use cat maps to better understand the world, even if the cats don't care.

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