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London zoo to create map of city's cats

Thursday - 2/28/2013, 8:08pm  ET

RAPHAEL SATTER
Associated Press

LONDON (AP) -- The London zoo is taking stock of an animal you don't often find behind bars, launching what it says is the first interactive map of the British capital's domestic cats.

The zoo said Friday that its interface would allow Londoners to upload scientific survey-style photos, descriptions, and locations of their cats -- creating a capital-wide census of the city's felines.

The map may not ultimately have much in the way of scientific value, but it could prove popular among Britain's cat owners.

Even ahead of its official launch, the site was filling up with dozens of felines, along with tongue-in-cheek field notes.

Among the early entrants was Ollie, a ginger cat from north London who "likes fish and octopus toy (but) dislikes biscuits." Another was Dorothy, a black tabby from south London who "has intimacy issues."

Quality control doesn't appear to be a strong suit of the site. At least one person uploaded a picture of a "Nyancat," the name given by Internet pranksters to an animated, space-dwelling cat with the body of a Pop-Tart.

But the other listings appeared legitimate and the map was already yielding its first figures. Nearly half of Britain's domestic cats are black or gray, according to the map, and roughly one-sixth are ginger or rust-colored.

Officials with the Zoological Society of London said they were launching the map to mark the arrival of two Sumatran tigers -- Jae Jae and Melati -- at the zoo.

They add that while the map is aimed at Londoners, cat fans from outside the city -- even outside the country -- can also upload their pets' photos to the system.

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Online:

Cat map: http://zsl.org/CatMap


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