The folks at Yahoo - who own Flickr - have asked a few of their Flickr users for permission to turn their kitty photos into emoticons for the Yahoo Messenger.
Here's a link to some of the results: Yahoo Messenger blog
Here's a reaction from one of the photographers (I have reason to know she's thrilled):
Tunie is Famous!! "Talk to the Paw" Emoticat™ Icon released today!
This is an interesting twist on CGM - pull consumer-generated media from your user base (it helps if your user base is photographers :-) rather than waiting for it to be pushed to you, and meet the consumer half-way (in this case by providing illustration talent). Wonder if they did this with any other classes of photo, or is it just cat pix?
Apparently this is to support a chat environment called Emoticats - more here.
Here's where to get the Yahoo chat client.