Pépito the Cat: How a Cat Left the Internet Worried

Sat, Oct 28, 2023

Pépito the Cat: How a Cat Left the Internet Worried

Pépito the Cat was brought to life by Clément Storck, a French programmer who developed a side project called PushingBox. This project allowed notifications to be triggered by real-life events, and Storck had a unique idea in mind. In July 2011, he used his software to create an automated Twitter account known as @PepitoTheCat. The concept was simple, but genius: Pépito's comings and goings from his home would be tracked by a surveillance camera linked to the Twitter bot account. The account was set to send automatic messages like "Pépito is out" when he left and "Pépito is back home" when he returned, along with a timestamp and a photo of the cat. Little did anyone realize that this simple idea would bring people together, creating a community that genuinely cared for Pépito the Cat.

The Brazilian Episode

Pépito the Cat made headlines in Brazil on June 8, 2017, when he went out and seemingly "disappeared" for over 22 hours. This unexpected absence prompted an outpouring of concern and memes from Brazilian fans who worried about Pépito's safety. However, Pépito's owner later clarified that the cat occasionally used a "human door" that was not linked to the Twitter-bot automation.

Pépito, known for his polite online updates about going in and out, sparked worry among his fans with this incident. It showed just how much his fans cared about their online cat friend.

How Elon Musk nearly killed Pépito

In 2023, Pépito's Twitter presence faced a significant challenge when Elon Musk assumed control of Twitter and proposed charging for the use of the Twitter API. This decision posed a threat to the existence of parody accounts like Pépito's. However, after Clément Storck tweeted in protest, Musk considered providing API access again to verified parody accounts like PepitoTheCat.

This move led to a substantial increase in Pépito's followers, solidifying his place in meme history.

Pépito's absence, again

On June 15, 2023, Pépito's Twitter adventures momentarily came to a close. For four long days, Pépito remained absent from the platform, leaving followers in suspense. On June 19, a "test" message appeared, but without a photo of the cat. The owner finally shared a photo of Pépito smelling strawberries in the garden and explained that the absences were due to changes within the Twitter API.

Pépito the Cat shows how the internet can be both strange and wholesome at the same time. People have formed a close-knit online community around this endearing feline, adopting him as if he were their own. The internet's collective concern when Pépito takes longer to return home illustrates how a simple cat can unite people in extraordinary ways. In a world filled with drama, these wholesome memes like Pépito have managed to offer some much-needed daily joy to our lives.