Don’t give up, little guy! Not because you can catch them, but because it’s so adorable to watch you try.

It’s especially hot in Japan this year, but the country’s history of sweltering summers stretches far into the past, predating modern countermeasures such as air conditioning, electric fans, or convenience stores stocked with ice cold beer. Back in the old days, people in Japan often had to settle for trying to trick their minds into thinking their bodies were cool, and one popular technique was taking a few moments on a hot day to quietly watch some goldfish swimming elegantly in a pool of water.

To this day, goldfish remain a popular summertime motif in Japan, which led Masataka Hakozaki to develop Wa Kingyo (literally “Japanese Goldfish”), a soothing iOS iyashi app that turns your mobile device’s screen into a virtual aquarium for a school of digital goldfish.

However, while those fishies look cooling to the humans the app was designed for, to feline users they simply look delicious, as Japanese Twitter user @kinari__x discovered and shared.

@kinari__x left her iPad out with Wa Kingyo running, and the app caught the attention of her Norwegian Forest cat, Naoya. Upon seeing the “fish,” his feline instincts kicked in and he began swiping at the screen in an attempt to catch the tasty morsels.

Adding to the confusion/amusement (depending on whether you’re looking at the video from the perspective of a cat or a cat-loving human) is that Wa Kingyo is designed to produce the sight and sound of rippling water whenever you tap the screen, for extra relaxation. So Naoya becomes adorably confused as to why he can apparently touch the water, but not the fish, since the app doesn’t include any gameplay feature where you can actually grab hold of the aquatic life.

With his paws proving ineffective, Naoya eventually just starts trying to scoop the fish up in his mouth directly. This too yields nothing but more simulated splashes, with the video ending without him obtaining a single snack for all his efforts, although they did earn him plenty of squealing comments of cute, kawaii, and other linguistic variations praising his heart-melting fishing attempts.

▼ Another quick, cute video of Naoya

Wa Kingyo is available from the Apple App Store here, where it’s a free download. We’d recommend you still set aside some cash if you’re planning to let your cat play, though, both for some protective anti-scratch film for your screen and for some treats for your kitty to munch on, lest he think you’re just teasing him.

Source: Twitter/@kinari__x via IT Media
Images: Twitter/@kinari__x