The Japanese adore cats. They’re a part of their tradition and their mythology. On the island of Aoshima, the Island of Cats, they’re the actual kings.

For a Japanese, feeding a cat is nice luck, and so they additionally scare away mice, so it’s not shocking that in rural areas they’re very plentiful, to the purpose that there are eleven islands that proclaim themselves Cats Island.

Why does your cat prefer to sleep on the foot of the mattress a lot?

These felines have been part of Japanese mythology for hundreds of years. Seem usually in anime and manga within the type of spirits, gods, chattering animals, and even half-human and half-cat races. Apparently, in Japanese tradition, canines and wolves at all times have a male voice, no matter gender. And the cats, at all times the voice of a girl.

Essentially the most well-known Cat Island is Aoshima, positioned within the pre-invoice of Ehime, southwest of Japan. His fame is nicely deserved: there are 36 cats for each inhabitant. But it surely will not be for for much longer …

It’s an island barely 1.6 kilometers lengthy, which round 1950 had 900 inhabitants, most of them fishermen. At the moment they started to breed cats to kill the mouse plagues that crammed the fishing boats.

However as time glided by, the sardine fishing grounds had been disappearing attributable to overfishing, and the younger folks left for town. In 2013 there have been solely 50 folks left, and in 2019 there have been solely 6 inhabitants registered, with a median age of 75 years. As an alternative the cats they’ve remained steady, reaching a inhabitants of about 220 felines. That’s, greater than 36 cats for every inhabitant.

Though there are not any bars, lodges, outlets or eating places on the island, as a result of its inhabitants are all retired, it has turn into a vacationer attraction. Daily a ferry arrives with guests who play and take footage with the cats. You possibly can see it on this video:

Sadly, Aoshima will lose its Cat Island standing in a couple of years.

In 2018, as a result of the inhabitants are very outdated and the island will quickly be uninhabited, the authorities determined to sterilize all the cat inhabitants. Solely 10 had been saved, which a resident hid so they might not be castrated.

So in a couple of years, the cat inhabitants will drop significantly.

It’s a curious story with a barely unhappy ending. However let’s be optimistic: life, in the long run, at all times makes its method. And certainly Aoshima’s cats will proceed to inhabit the island for a protracted, very long time.


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