That's not true—HN is a constitutional democracy. But I'd have thought a desert-dwelling cat would be intellectually interesting enough to satisfy the criteria of the guidelines, and once a story crosses that bar, pretty much anything goes.
Users who disagree are welcome to flag the story, and admittedly have some evidence to back them up in this thread.
esr has a bad habit of claiming all of his own behaviors, likes, habits, and dislikes are generally shared by anyone who considers themselves a hacker. Thus, I assume from the link above that:
* He owns a cat
* He owns a "decrepit heap" of an unwashed car
* He has terrible handwriting
see also: http://news.slashdot.org/story/03/06/08/1534249/esr-recasts-...
> HN isn't a tech-and-startups-only site,
it's not true that
> Anything that grabs HN attention... is appropriate.
That's why there's moderation. This is written down:
> On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity.
> Off-Topic: Most stories about politics, or crime, or sports, unless they're evidence of some interesting new phenomenon. Videos of pratfalls or disasters, or cute animal pictures. If they'd cover it on TV news, it's probably off-topic.
I don't think this link is of any intellectual interest. It's just cuteness.
The second adjective covers why it's HN-appropriate.