animals

Video of crafty cat’s escape from behind bars shows no simple cage can hold him

Japan’s comparatively cramped housing means there’s not only less room for a home’s human occupants, but for its animal residents as well. Because of this, you may sometimes see pets spending a few hours a day in cages that, in other countries, would ordinarily be able to run free around the house.

But if the sight of a cat behind bars makes you feel a little sad, you’ll be happy to know that at least one Japanese feline can apparently escape whenever he feels like it.

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Ninja-cat poised for attack, puns and a difficult dismount

We recently learned about some ninja tools and techniques that made use of cats, but maybe cats are actually the original ninja. This picture is more than enough evidence to prove that this theory is spot-on.

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Pooch’s attempt to get out of bathtime involves oddly slow, amazingly cute doggy paddle【GIF】

It seems like it’s not just humans, but every member of the animal kingdom in Japan that loves a nice, relaxing bath. Hot spring-loving monkeys have been attracting tourists to Japan’s rural onsen for decades, and capybaras’ bathtime privacy is also a thing of the past.

But that doesn’t mean all of Japan’s creatures are down for a dip in the tub, though, as this adorable pooch looks like he’s ready to make a break for it, even if it comes at the price of getting his paws wet.

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Adorable circular capybara formation proves they look cute even when doing something nasty

As someone whose eyes are closed in about 20 percent of his pictures, I’ve always thought it must be nice to be naturally photogenic. If nothing else, you must save a lot of time not having to snap a half-dozen photos in the same spot, just in case you look goofy in all but one.

For example, I have a hunch this group of capybaras in Kyushu looks good from just about any angle. Well, except maybe the one that would have revealed the gross activity they were actually involved in at the moment the shot was taken.

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One Piece New Year’s Eve Special apparently set to make series fans cry big, fat tears of pirate joy

Fans of the increasingly wacky and complex pirate world of One Piece will surely be either thrilled or horrified to know that there will be an all-new, super extra special New Year’s Eve broadcast of a One Piece animated film in Japan. As a fan, whether you fall into the thrilled or horrified category will probably depend on whether or not you currently reside in Japan, as the special is apparently set for just one single broadcast in the anime’s native country only.

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Video series of cats with mikan and kotatsu is also a cute survival guide for Japanese winter

Chilly as winter may get in Japan, we’ve got to admit there are some cool things about the coldest part of the year. For example, the Christmas decorations around Tokyo are amazing, and even if you’re not feeling up to braving the cold weather, Japan offers a couple of ways to make winter more bearable even if you’re staying indoors. High on the list are mikan, the mandarin oranges that’re at their tastiest in winter, and kotatsu, the blanket-covered, heater-equipped tables that’re so cozy it’s almost impossible to pull yourself out of one once you get situated comfortably.

Don’t take our word for it, though, as these adorable cats lounging though a Japanese winter serve as far better spokescreatures for mikan and kotatsu than we ever could.

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Dog seems to appear from plank of wood in either coolest pet trick or silliest astral projection

I can’t help but laugh every time I hear a story about people finding an image of Jesus in some household setting. It’s not so much their spiritual fervor that gives me a chuckle, though, but the incongruent nature of the logic being shown. On one hand, he’s powerful enough to send messages to true believers from across the boundaries of our mortal realm, but on the other, he chooses to make his appearance in a piece of singed toast or an oil stain on someone’s driveway?

Call me cynical, but I’m not convinced the son of God rolls that way. That kid of haphazard choice of manifestation setting seems more like the work of a lower being, like maybe a dog who’s still getting the hang of how to project himself through the astral plane.

Speaking of which…

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You might never eat seafood again after you watch this horrifying lobster molting on land

When we posted a video of an enormous, pulsating, terrifying spider crab slowly escaping the confines of its old shell and setting off in search of new digs and (probably) human souls, we thought that was about the most horrifying the process of molting could really get.

Then we saw this video of a spiny lobster molting on land. We will never be the same.

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Ago-kui is the new kabe-don, and it looks incredibly cute when done to pets!

Are you still caught up in the kabe-don craze? We’ve even seen some variations to the wall-pounding approach, but it’s time to change it up for the next manga inspired photo trend – ago-kui!

Japanese Twitter users have shifted their attention to another heart throbbing situation that often comes up in manga and anime, the act of gently tilting another person’s head upwards by their chin. Similar to when kabe-don was trending, Twitter users started posting images of themselves getting caught up in an ago-kui situation, but they soon realized, it looks way cuter when ago-kui is done to their pets! More cuteness ahead!

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Group of cats in China gathers for séance, summoning, or maybe just some sinister cake 【Video】

Some people say cats possess strong spiritual powers, but I’m not so sure. Yeah, they’ve been popular familiars for literary witches since as far back as anyone can remember, but I’m not really convinced that they can sense spirits where the rest of us can’t just because they have a tendency to be startled by, and throw jabs at, empty patches of air. Really, that’s only about as profound a connection to the supernatural plane as I have after half a bottle of bourbon.

But maybe cats do have access to dark magical powers. It would certainly explain the eerie calm they display in this video showing a group of them huddled around a table as part of what looks like a cultish ritual.

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Most popular pet names in Japan for 2014 suggest owners obsessed with food

Earlier this week, we looked at popular baby names making the rounds this year in Japan and now we’ve discovered some data on what Japanese named their pets in 2014. The little guy above may be right to look concerned because almost every name on the list is food-related

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Un-bear-ably cute! Munchkin the Shih-Tzu hits the treadmill in teddy costume【VIDEO】

If you’re feeling a little blue at the start of another work week and need an adorable pick-me up, perhaps we can interest you in a fuzzy doggy waggling her way through an intense gym session while dressed as a teddy bear? Munchkin the Shih-Tzu has been earning “Aww!”s all over the interwebs with this video uploaded to her personal YouTube page. In it, Munchkin struts her stuff whilst wearing an improvised costume created from a gutted teddy bear. Thanks to some magical camera-angle trickery, Munchkin appears to walk upright with the jaunty swagger of a carefree teddy just workin’ out in the gym. Join us for the video and more on Munchkin after the jump!

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Cats, dogs, pandas & more! An irresistible collection of photos and videos of animals in the snow

It seems only a short while ago that we were complaining about how unbearably hot the summer is here in Japan. Well, time sure does pass by quickly, and we’re now headed into winter, with parts of northern Japan already seeing a bit of snow. And while you can always expect small kids to be thrilled with the idea of a winter wonderland, it seems they’re not the only ones that thoroughly enjoy playing with the snow.

We’ve found a collection of photos and videos on Japanese information compilation site Naver Matome which clearly show that animals too get a kick out of jumping and rolling in the fluffy white stuff, and we wanted to share the images with you because, well … they simply looked so “cool” (and not just because of all the snow involved). So, get ready to enjoy some adorable animal snow action!

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Give your cat a sleek Egyptian makeover with the help of a piece of everyday packaging

Earlier this month, cat owners in Japan stumbled across affordable, adorable beds for their pets at IKEA, of all places. But while repurposing the furniture megastore’s doll beds will make your cat look incredibly cute while it’s sleeping, what about when it’s awake?

Actually, we just picked up a collar with a design so elegant it wouldn’t be out of place on an exalted feline in ancient Egypt. Not only was it incredibly cheap, we found it at yet another unlikely place: the grocery store.

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Endangered critters in China get health check, diagnosed with acute cuteness 【Photos】

Remember when you were in school and had to do that dreaded health and fitness check in PE class? Turns out those trials aren’t just for little homo sapiens.

A few days ago, workers at the Pu’er Sun River national park were checking the health of their endangered charges ahead of some research projects and got some pretty adorable snaps in the process.

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Yamanashi zoo’s roly-poly resident raccoon is ridiculously round, remarkably cute

Many of Japan’s tasty regional delicacies don’t exactly qualify as low-calorie dining options, such as Fukuoka’s pork stock ramen, Osaka’s deep-fried kushikatsu skewers, and Nagoya’s miso pork cutlets. However, Yamanashi Prefecture’s local specialty, hoto, is relatively healthy, as it’s primarily a vegetable stew with miso broth.

With that in mind, the fact that a zoo in Yamanashi is home to a raccoon who’s so plump he’s almost spherical is a little ironic…and also pretty adorable.

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Posing like a (video game) boss! Villainous and heroic cats look ready for a role-playing epic

Lighting is an important part of photography. Arrange some candles on a table one way before you press the shutter button, and you’ve got a snapshot of a romantic dinner. Position everything differently, and you’ve got a spooky séance.

The same goes for if you’re photographing your pet cat. Under certain conditions, he might look like a fluffy little fuzzball, but if the flash reflects off his eyes just right, suddenly he’ll transform into a sinister monster, like this guy here.

Actually, Internet users in Japan recently put together what looks like the core cast of a fantasy role-playing game, with villains and heroes alike represented.

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Deal of the day – Give this hamster’s Vine video six seconds, and he’ll give you a huge smile

It’s one of the sad facts of life that it generally takes longer to build up a good mood than to tear one down. A quick bit of bad luck can ruin your afternoon (just ask anyone who’s been pooped on by a pigeon), but blissful joy is often the result of building off a string of successes and blessings.

We say “often” because sometimes you stumble across a shortcut to a genuine smile or heartwarming laugh, which is definitely the case with the twist ending to this short video of a hamster having its ear stroked.

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Has this cat’s soul been stolen, or is this just another example of cats being weird? 【Video】

A few weeks ago, we saw a cat that could walk backwards on two legs like it was no big deal. At the time, we jokingly wrote it off as just another quirky cat thing that cats do, because cats.

But now that we’ve seen this video of another feline lying prone, belly-up, staring into the abyss as though it’s seen into the eyes of Cthulhu, we’re starting to wonder if maybe there’s some sort of strange otherworldly madness slowly destroying the minds of Japan’s cats:

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Lost dog appears to turn itself in to local police, recruit their help with finding its owner

Usually, it seems, the standard procedure for reuniting a lost pet with its owner is to put up posters on every streetlamp you can find, begging people to let you know if they’ve seen your wayward canine/feline family member.

It’s nice, then, that the owner of a large Alaskan malamute in Suzhou, China had an animal that was smart and proactive enough to basically do all the legwork for him, by essentially turning itself in to the police.

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