Recently, we sent our intrepid reporter Meg to Ehime Prefecture’s Aoshima, also known as Cat Island or even Cat Paradise. We’d heard rumors that the island’s packs of free-roaming kitties were facing an obesity crisis from the snacks given to them by their numerous animal-loving visitors, and wanted to check up on our little friends.
When Meg came back, she reported that the cats were fine, thanks to their active, calorie-burning lifestyle. But how could she be sure? Did she check every cat on Aoshima?
She certainly came close, and we’ve got the photo collection to prove it.
Only 15 people permanently reside on Aoshima, but some 100 cats reside there, too. Walking around the island, you’re never far from a group of kitties.
Having so many cats gathered in one place is a surprising site for us humans, and its an unusual living arrangement for the animals, too. As Meg strolled around, snapping away with her camera, occasionally the purring transformed into yowling, as the cats got into disputes with each other like rowdy urbanites in a rough part of downtown.
▼ These two seem to be getting along OK, though.
▼ Ditto this couple
All those kitties aren’t the only aesthetically pleasing part of Aoshima, though. Peering into the surrounding ocean, Meg found the waters to be amazing clean, with a clarity unlike what she’s seen from the rest of Ehime Prefecture, which makes up the northwestern corner of the smallest of Japan’s four major island, Shikoku.
Unfortunately, the skies were cloudy on the day Meg stopped by, which took a little bit of the luster out of the coastal scenery. On the other hand, the lower temperature meant she got to see some of the cats curled up to stay warm, which made them even cuter than usual.
▼ He sure looks cozy.
▼ On Aoshima, it really is like the cats own the place.
▼ Look at this little cutie
Despite the occasional squabble, though, the cats are generally pretty well-behaved. What’s more, the almost total lack of people on Aoshima means that all visitors are likely to hear is meowing and the chirping of birds, making it an extremely calm and relaxing place to spend an afternoon.
As a matter of fact, Aoshima is so soothing that Meg picked up a tip from some of the repeat visitors she saw there. The island has a campground, and some day trippers bring a beach parasol with them to relax under.
Wrapped in the slow-paced atmosphere and soothing sounds of nature, some people even drift off to sleep after a few minutes. Not that we blame them, of course. Really, we can’t think of a better place for a cat nap than on Cat Island.
All photos © RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]