Doughnut Kitten Celebrates One Million Visitors



A million people all over the world have had their screens painted with Doughnut Kitten’s infinite pastel rainbows

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Kitten photographs/images by Tania Hennessey

Visit, and a small kitten sitting atop a cartoon doughnut will trace infinite pastel rainbows across your screen. The site does just this one thing. There is no selling, no ads—just rainbows and a kitten, the site’s ‘pointlessness’ arguably a delightful act of subversion. In April 2022, the website celebrated one million visitors.

Tania Hennessey

The project is the work of Vancouver, BC-based artist, photographer, and kitten rescuer Tania Hennessy. Like many artists, her inspiration came from a place of pain. “Back in 2015, I started experiencing these unpredictable episodes of excruciating facial pain that made sleep impossible,” recounts Hennessy. “Late one night, I came across The Useless Web, a hub for all things quirky and weird on the internet, and became strangely obsessed with this curious genre of art. The browser-based works were amusing, distracting, and often completely pointless.”

After her mysterious agony was diagnosed as trigeminal neuralgia, she decided to start working on a new project called Emoji Kittens, a series that playfully juxtaposed classic kitten photography with emojis against minimal pastel backdrops. 

“I came across The Useless Web, a hub for all things quirky and weird on the Internet, and became strangely obsessed with this curious genre of art.”

“One of my favourite images in the collection was of an adorable kitten sitting in the doughnut emoji,” says Hennessy. “It was the perfect character to feature in a delightfully distracting website of my own.” was born.

Hennessy has now been working on Doughnut Kitten for seven years. “As the project evolved, it proved to be surprisingly multidisciplinary,” Hennessy says. The doughnut prop was redesigned for maximum kitten comfort. She illustrated a set of pastel frosted doughnuts, tweaked the website code countless times, and completely rebuilt the photography set from scratch.

An early iteration of Doughnut Kitten

Then, of course, there was the time spent photographing the kittens. “During auditions, our adorable models would drift off to sleep in the prop, make playful silly faces, and photobomb each other as we attempted to get them to look at the camera with all kinds of toys, treats, and weird sounds,” she recounts.

People find their way to from all over the internet: social media, links posted in bizarre forums, old-school blogs, and websites that are dedicated to sharing lists of pointless websites all funnel visitors. “The traffic patterns are interesting to look at,” says Hennessy. “They rise high Monday through Friday, and then they drop over the weekend.”

She hopes the project brings respite and a bit of joy to visitors. “For many of us, going on the internet is something we do when we want to relax or check out, but a lot of what we’re looking at is designed to elicit negative emotional states like fear, anger, and sadness. was created to be the opposite: a website that helps visitors relax, even if it’s just for a few moments, and experience the blissful calm that comes from gazing into Doughnut Kitten’s infinite rainbow dreamscape.” 

Fun Facts

The kitten’s name is Spaghetti. He was from a litter of “pasta kittens” Hennessy fostered for Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue (VOKRA).

Illustration Zagralex/bigstock.comClose up, Spaghetti features a phenomenon that’s known as the Mona Lisa effect—a mesmerizing gaze where the eyes appear to follow you as you move around the image.

Illustration Zagralex/bigstock.comSpaghetti is sitting in a 3D-printed doughnut prop which is attached to a set Hennessy built. There is even a space under the doughnut that hides a little pillow for maximum kitten comfort!

This article originally appeared in the award-winning Modern Cat magazine. Subscribe today!


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