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Was an image of a Weird 'Half Cat' Captured by Google Street View?

Outline
An image going viral via social media supposedly depicts a strange half cat creature with only two legs and no ears caught in action by Google Street View cameras

Brief Analysis
Half cat is no mystery. The strange looking puss is the result of some digital tomfoolery. And the image was not captured via Google Street View. The source image used in the manipulation was snapped in 2003 - well before Google Street View was launched - and depicts "Thumbelina", a perfectly normal cat, strolling along a street in Ottawa (See original image below).


Example
Spotted On Google Street View: Half A Cat A new species, perhaps?
Half Cat Google Street View


Detailed Analysis
A compelling picture of what appears to be a bizarre two-legged, no-eared cat is currently circulating virally via social media outlets and the blogosphere. Descriptions of the strange creature claim that it was captured via Google Street View images. The image has generated a lot of tongue-in-cheek speculation with commentators suggesting that it could depict a new species, an alien visitor or a mutant puss.

But, the truth is little more down to earth. Half Cat is the result of digital manipulation. As the following image shows, Half Cat was created by photochopping a picture of the beautiful Thumbelina, most probably without her permission or knowledge:



Thumbelina

The source picture was reportedly taken back in 2003 and was posted to picture sharing website imgur. The image is said to show Thumbelina walking near Parliament Hill, Ottawa.

And, given that Google Street View was not launched until 2007, it is clear that Thumbelina's picture was not snapped by Street View cameras as suggested in the circulating messages.

Thumbelina's thoughts on the unauthorized use of her picture have so far gone unrecorded.

Last updated: May 9, 2013
First published: May 9, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
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