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The Internet Needs to Know: Is it a Dog or a Cat?

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Is the dress black and blue or white and gold? Does that cat really have a hole through its stomach?  Where is the hidden cell phone in the rug?  In the past few years, the Internet has developed a strange obsession with optical illusions.  These illusions tend to get two reactions: A) “OMG THAT’S INSANE I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT IT TOOK ME TWO HOURS TO FIGURE IT OUT” and B) “meh.”

In the case of the most recent viral “illusion,” it doesn’t really matter if you are in the “A” camp or the “B” camp because at least you’ll come away having seen a picture of an adorable animal.  The illusion in question challenges the audience to determine whether the pet is a cat or a dog.   The dog/cat was shared by Twitter user n20 (@1evilidiot) with the caption: “Her.- do you have a dog or a cat? me.- I don’t know.”

Atchoumfan from viral twitter post on whether he is a cat or dog
Twitter / @1evilidiot

The tweet has been re-tweeted over 13,000 times  and garnered a host of confused comments.  Some people really had no clue:

Some thought it might be neither a dog nor a cat:

And then there were the people who simply didn’t care at all and just wanted one of their own:

There were others, however, who did know.  And they knew because this specific pet is actually an existing Internet star in his own right (he has 165k followers on Instagram).  His name is Atchoum and he’s a….CAT!  So why does Atchoum look so strange and dog-like?

Well, as his website explains (yes he has a website), he has a rare congenital disorder called hypertricosis.  It’s a condition in cats (and humans) that causes excessive hair growth and, in the case of cats, thickening of the claws.  A more derogatory term for the disease is “warewolf syndrome” because of the way it looks on humans.  Atchoum’s owner says that “it’s less scary than it sounds.”  Apparently Atcoum is also the only cat known to have the disorder, so there’s no certainty about how it will affect him as he ages.

Atchoum’s owner is a groomer, but prefers him to wear his special hair proudly by giving him the “mad scientist” look. Atchoum’s owner created Atchoum’s Facebook page as a bet that he couldn’t get more than 100 Facebook likes – well, the person who challenged Atchoum lost in a big way.  Atchoum has 65k followers on Facebook and even more on Instagram!  And it’s no wonder!  This guy is one of the coolest looking cats around.  Check out some of our favorite pics from his website and Instagram below!

A lot of people have compared Atchoum to other more familiar people and animals.  Here is is compared to Einstein:

Atchoum and Einstein

And he looks alarmingly similar to an Ewok from Star Wars:

Atchoum and Ewok

And with those starkly yellow eyes, he doesn’t look far off from an owl:

Atchoum and Owl

But beyond these comparisons, Atchoum is just incredibly cute. He’s definitely fond of laying around the house like any other cat

Atchoum laying on his side on the couch
Instagram / atchoumfan
Atchoum lying on a yellow couch
Instagram / atchoumfan

And he seems to like dressing up in bow ties to match his mad scientist look

Atchoum sitting in a bow tie
Instagram / atchoumfan
Atchoum in a Bow Tie
Instagram / atchoumfan

But he also just does tons of other cute stuff, and that’s why people love him!

Atchoum sticking his head around the wall
Instagram / atchoumfan
Atchoum in a tub
Instagram / atchoumfan
Atchoum in a Canadian maple leaf ranger hat
Instagram / atchoumfan

If you love Atchoum as much as we do, you should definitely check him out on Instagram for more!

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