LOL thats not controlling a GIF .
That is just a bit of script.
They grab a frame ( first frame of image and store as say png ) with an overlay PLAY button.
Onclick they play gif is instantiated.
Nip on STACK and ask thm, its just js.
They have preview as:http://s-ak.buzzfed.com/static/imagebuzz/web04/2011/7/13/18/anigif_cat-got-neck-30467-1310595819-68_preview.gif
and mask the GIF using a nifty bit of JShttp://s-ak.buzzfed.com/static/imagebuzz/web04/2011/7/13/18/anigif_cat-got-neck-30467-1310595819-68.gif