In Tokyo, a cat the size of a yacht sitting high above the sidewalk, coyly licking its paws. A lot of people in Tokyo think it is cute and awesome to look at, no matter that the cat is just pixels on a billboard. The 4K display does not officially “open” until Monday, but it has already viral on social media — and inspired many social media posts — since its installation last month.
The digital calico acts a bit like a real cat, in the sense that it does whatever it pleases. Visitors can only look at it a few brief appearances per hour, in between a stream of advertisements and music videos.
The cat yawns here and there, and at 1 a.m. it drops off to sleep for about six hours, resting its head on white paws that hug the side of what appears to be an open-air perch near the Shinjuku subway station. (The three-dimensional look is an illusion created by a curved, 26-by-62-foot LED screen.)
It also talks, greeting pedestrians with “nyannichiwa.” That is a blend of “konnichiwa,” or hello, and “nyan,” Japanese for “meow.”
Unlike many of the billboards and signs in the same area, the cat isn’t advertising a specific brand.