App of the Week: Cat Paint

App: Cat Paint Platforms: iPhone Web site: Cost: Free

Photo sharing has rapidly become one of the hottest trends in cellular phone technology. Most smart phones have fairly sophisticated cameras in them and, with an added software app like Instagram, it's possible to get decent photos from your phone and share them with the world instantly.

But not all photos are meant to be artistic or even interesting. Sometimes, they are just snapshots of friends and family. Once the photo is taken, that's pretty much it...or is it?

When we at Hair Balls get bored and need a distraction, we break out Cat Paint and let the magic begin.

Cat Paint is a remarkably simple concept. Take a photo or import one from your stored photos for the background. Choose one of the many cats available and away you go. Reposition or resize the cats on the screen and even add lasers that shoot from their eyes and point those wherever you want.

It sounds stupid, but it really is fun despite also being a massive waste of time.

Probably our favorite feature is the sound. Whenever a cat is added to the background, the app plays one of numerous cat sounds and they sound very real.

As a means of testing how real they sound, we played with it around our cats and, to our surprise, they had strong reactions. Meowing in response wasn't uncommon and one even hissed. Whatever the case, they were clearly interested in the sound emanating from the phone.

Once playtime is over, save your masterpiece or, better yet, e-mail it to the friend you defaced or, still better yet, post it to her Facebook wall -- all options provided by the app.

This app won't save you time -- quite the opposite. It won't make you rich. It won't let you chat with friends or learn anything new. Like that incredibly dumb, really hot girl who hit on you when she was drunk at that party in college, Cat Paint is not something to think about. Just enjoy the moment.

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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke