Let there be (cat-activated) light!

Up until now, we’d all been operating under the belief that the only adorable animal in Japan with electricity powers is Pikachu. However, it’s tempting to rethink that after seeing this video from Japanese Twitter user @betelgeuse331 showing her non-Pokémon animal companion.


As the video opens, we see @betelgeuse331’s pet cat Natsume perched on a desk. @betelgeuse331 gives him a little tap on his nose with her fingertip, and the instant she does, the desk lamp, which had been dark until then, lights up!

It’s not just a coincidence or glitch, either. When @betelgeuse331 taps Natsume’s nose again, the light turns off, and the video shows she can repeat the process as many times as she wants, all while an excited male voice asks “What?!?”, “Why?!?”, and “How?!?”

Being a cat, Natsume doesn’t answer any of the questions, but he patiently sits there as @betelgeuse331 turns the lamp on and off several more times, prompting comments from other Twitter users such as:

“Cute AND mysterious.”
“Is this cat magic?”
“How is this possible?…Is this cat made out of living electricity?”
“What an eco-friendly energy source.”

So what’s going on here? While you can’t see it because it’s covered by Natsume’s front right paw, the lamp is apparently operated by a capacitance-style touch switch. A similar technological concept to the one behind touchscreens, capacitance touch switches work by work by using the body’s ability to conduct electricity. When the switch is touched, the change in charge is registered and the lamp turns on.

One of Natsume’s paws is resting atop the switch, but his others are on non-conductive surfaces. When @betelgeuse331 touches his nose, though, the effects is the same as if she were touching the switch, which is why the light keeps turning on or off with each tap.

▼ Following his breakout video, Natsume now has his own Twitter account, @natsuSwitchCat.


As cool and cute as the lamp trick is, the mechanics behind it mean that technically Natsume is acting as its on/off, not its power source, but the warm fuzzy feelings his video produces should be enough to keep you going for at least the rest of the day.

Source: Twitter/@betelgeuse331 via IT Media
Top image: Pakutaso
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