Why This London Tube Station Is Covered With Pictures of Homeless Cats

Cats fill the Clapham Common Tube station in London, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016
Cats fill the Clapham Common Tube station in London, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016 AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Purrrfect commute! When London residents headed to work on Monday, September 12, they found the Clapham Common tube station was completely covered with pictures of cats. The giant images of felines were plastered on all the walls and peeking out from behind the turnstiles, which made for a very Instagram-worthy trip on public transportation.

Around 68 advertisements had been replaced by pictures of fluffy kitties because the Citizens Advertising Takeover Service (abbreviated CATs, obviously) crowdfunded a campaign to replace as many London metro ads as possible with cat photos. According to CNN, all the pics are of stray cats from two rescue organizations: Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and Cats Protection.

CATs used the popular site Kickstarter to raise about 23,000 British pounds (which equates to about $30,346) to make this campaign happen. According to Glimpse, the company behind the viral project, the images of the felines will remain there for two weeks.

Cats fill the Clapham Common Tube station in London, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016
Cats fill the Clapham Common Tube station in London, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Glimpse’s founder, James Turner, explained the cat takeover in a blog post. “Back in February we asked ourselves to ‘imagine a world where friends and experiences were more valuable than stuff you can buy.’ The team began thinking about crowdfunding to replace Tube adverts with something else,” he wrote. “We wanted this to become famous, so we needed something the internet would love. Frame it that way and the answer’s obvious. Cats.”

Turner said that he hopes advertisers realize the power they have and use it for good. “We want agencies and brands to be mindful of the power they wield and to use it to encourage positive values in society,” he said. 

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