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CatPrin: Web Site of the Week

Quirky Japanese Site Shows You How to Dress Up Your Cat

By Fred Choi

Staff Writer

The World Wide Web can seem like an infinite place, even for the experienced surfer. But fear not! Every week FWC will be your friendly guide to the indispensable and the disposable, the ponderous and the quirky, the enlightening or the just plain goofy corners of Al Gore’s Internet. So hop onto the superhighway and awaaaay we go!

The site of the week further confirms how weird Japanese people are. (No offense to our Japanese readers, but any culture that eats raw fish, has vending machines that sell socks, and comes up with the most pointless “pet” since pet rocks has got to rate high on the subjective weirdness scale).

Introducing ... CatPrin (http://www.petoffice.co.jp/catprin/english), “a tailor for cats.” CatPrin offers a fashionable line of clothes and accessories for your favorite feline companion, including ensembles to transform your cat into a duck, frog, sheep, rabbit, leopard, or Anne of Green Gables (complete with red curls, of course). If animals aren’t your thing, you can also order a “lady’s blouse,” “gentleman’s shirt and tie,” “schoolgirl’s collar,” and “dalmation tippett” (i.e., shoulder cape).

Many of the items come in several colors and most fit animals with heads between 22 to 28 cm with velcro. Prices range from 2300 to 4000 yen, or about $20 to $33. Even if you don’t own a cat, the site is worth going to for the descriptions -- “A very cute and humorous package to transform your cat into a frog! There is a flipper attached to the neck. These froggy looks surely make you laugh. Don’t laugh too much or SHE might get sulky.” -- or for the photos of cats modeling the outfits, with the most long-suffering expressions you’ve ever seen.

CatPrin is part of PetOffice, a larger site, http://www.petoffice.co.jp, which services all of your pet needs. Outfits for dogs are available to show support for your favorite baseball team. PetOffice even sells a “Meowlingual,” product that, like the earlier product, “Bowlingual,” gives you the power to communicate with your furry, four-footed friend. Warning: using Meowlingual while trying to dress your cat up with outfits from CatPrin may lead to language not suitable for children.

To submit a site that you think the world should know about, e-mail wuhwuhwuh@the-tech.mit.edu.