animals

Adorable Ili pika photographed for the first time in 20 years

Earlier this week, we introduced you to a number of adorable furry critters native to Hokkaido, Japan. Just when you thought we here at RocketNews24 couldn’t possibly find anything to top the cuteness of the Ezo Momonga, a type of flying squirrel so fluffy it’s almost criminal, we’re following up with a close contender: the Ili pika.

Conservationist Li Weidong managed to photograph the creature, which resembles a cross between a bunny and a hamster, for the first time in 20 years back in July. With the Ili pika currently in danger of extinction due to climate change and other factors, Li is calling for China to do more to protect the endangered species.

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Is that a hamster in your sleeve, or are you just happy to see me? 【Photos】

Language is a living, evolving thing, and as such, the phrases we use have to adapt with the times. In an era where VHS cassettes and rotary phones are no longer the norm, it’s making less and less sense to talk about “taping a TV show” or “dialing a number,” for example.

Likewise, since the glory days of the riverboat gambler and Wild West poker-playing saloon drifter have, sadly, come to a close, how appropriate is it to talk about having “an ace up your sleeve?” Really, when was the last time you found yourself, in the course of your daily life, in a situation where you thought, “Man, things sure would be better if I had a piece of paper with a single heart on it tucked inside my cuff!”

So let’s take the aces out of our sleeves and replace them with something that’s always welcome: hamsters.

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Looking for a new favourite animal? Take your pick from these six adorable Hokkaido natives

We all know the truth about cats and dogs. They’re secretly plotting our demise with adorable antics that keep us distracted from our lives, both online and in the real world.

But what about wild animals? Usually the subject of serious documentaries, nature’s fauna seem to have a more mature approach to life than your average piano-playing cat or yoga-loving dog. But that doesn’t mean they’re not adorable!

Meet six of the cutest wild animals you’ve seen, all hailing from the cold upper reaches of Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido. From fluffy carnivores to a genuine Pikachu lookalike, these little critters will melt your heart!

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After adorable morning stretch routine, chipmunk is ready for day of dancing, video games 【Video】

There are certain animals that Japan has an established soft spot for. Cats and dogs are at the top of the list, which includes adorable dark horses like capybaras and rabbits too.

Chipmunks, though, don’t have such a huge following in Japan, probably due to the fact that the animals just aren’t that common in the country. But while most Japanese people don’t often get a chance to see them in the wild, plenty of them have been watching this chipmunk who’s become a rising Internet star thanks to the video of his adorable morning stretching routine.

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Move over, Maru! Giant kitty Toro steals hearts with his huge paws and fluffy tail

When it comes to achieving feline fame and fortune on the internet, it helps to have a gimmick. Grumpy Cat’s got her perma-frown. Maru loves to goof around in boxes. But now there’s a new kitty on the block who’s kind of the whole package.

He’s huge and fluffy, and with his big paws, any time he’s around is a great photo op. Whether he’s playing with children, taking a bath, or opening doors, Toro’s got that star quality that’s already made him a huge hit on Twitter.

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Samsung’s Dream Doghouse: a $30,000 pad for the cultivated canine

When we look at our four-legged companions, we can see ourselves stripped of all the complications of being human. After all, dogs seem to derive an almost inordinate amount of joy from the simplest pleasures: a well-chewed bone; a warm spot on the couch; occasional rolls in the dirt. Yet, as with humans, there are some dogs that value the finer things in life. 

Samsung might just have the answer for these posh canines: the Dream Doghouse. With building costs of US$30,000, this prime piece of real estate is hardly a bargain… but, then again, how many doghouses have a hydro-pool and treadmill?

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A collection of cute critters and their adorable antics at Japanese pet shops

Japanese Twitter users can’t stop gushing over an assortment of–you guessed it–pictures of cute animals in ridiculous poses at their local pet shops. Since there appears to be a correlation between the time spent squealing over cute critters and human stress levels, we advise you to pull up a chair and start fawning right away if you’re having a less than stellar day!

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A lost cat experiences Tokyo Disneyland hospitality and the Internet erupts in joy

Despite prices going up again, Tokyo Disneyland still is one of the happiest places on earth where you can meet all of your favorite characters, ride those amazing rides and of course, experience that legendary Disney hospitality. Last week, a Japanese twitter user even spotted one of the cast members (as park employees are called) extending the Disney treatment to a cat who had apparently lost its way.

Japanese netizens could barely hold in their glee at seeing this lost cat being treated so well. Click below to see what the cast member did to get netizens squealing with glee!

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Hachiko’s new statue is now open to the public, and we’ve got pictures and video from our visit

Last month, we got our first peek at the brand-new statue of Hachiko, in which Japan’s most famous dog is reunited with his loving master after almost a century apart. But while Hachiko’s legendary loyalty is inspiring, we weren’t waiting 100 years to see the statue for ourselves.

With the piece now installed and open to viewing by the public, we made the trip to the campus of the University of Tokyo, and we’ve brought plenty of photos and video that we shot while looking at Hachiko through both our viewfinder and a constant stream of tears.

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Adorable Shiba Inu Mari-chan gets to work in the kitchen, with disastrous results 【Video】

Here at RocketNews24 there’s only one thing we like more than a Shiba Inu, and that’s a Shiba Inu with professional comic timing. Last time we saw our favourite doggy actor Mari-chan, she was wreaking havoc working as a handy-man’s assistant, and this time, she’s been let loose in a new playground - the kitchen.

Mari-chan’s long-suffering owner has a new culinary plan – to make a special dish of “Super Chilled Tofu”. Unfortunately, Mari-chan has other ideas…

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CATastrophe! Mass feline pandemonium ensues after owner strips futon off kotatsu

When a Japanese Twitter user removed the covering from the top of her kotatsu (heated table) for cleaning, she discovered that she had disrupted the peaceful slumber of the thing that was lurking beneath…make that things, and cute things, in fact!

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How relaxed are you right now, on a scale from one to Akimbo Kitty?

Oh, to be a cat, and inhabit one of those fluffy, soft, ultra-bendy bodies. It’s well-known that cats are so flexible as to be basically a liquid with fur, and what this means is that they’ve got an uncanny knack of being able to relax comfortably in the most awkward of positions. Take Akimbo Kitty, the cat from these snaps, who couldn’t be happier to be sunken into that beanbag/chair thing. Just look at those jaunty toes!

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Pretty kitty says “Good morning” in Japanese, not just a doting owner’s imagination!

You’d be forgiven for thinking, “Not another ‘talking pet’ video!” YouTube is positively overflowing with them, after all, despite the fact that most of the time it’s only the owners who are able to decipher what their pets are supposedly “saying” before the camera.

Many netizens agree, however, that YouTuber luckersingo’s gorgeous cat Māya is actually meowing out the three-syllable Japanese greeting for good morning, “Ohayō!” Don’t believe us? Watch this talkative kitty in action and decide for yourself!

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Forget cat cafes, there’s a cafe in South Korea where you can hang out with sheep!

Japan is home to hundreds of animal cafes where guests are able to hang out with catsrabbits, and even owls as they sip lattes and cups of herbal tea. These establishments give their patrons, often people who live in rented accommodation in urban areas, a chance to interact with animals that they would not be able to keep at home due to a lack of space or strict “no pets” clauses in tenancy agreements.

In Korea, however, one particular cafe has upscaled the experience with something much bigger and fluffier than the common bunny, cat or pup. Check out this unique cafe which houses a pair of beautiful, friendly sheep!

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Time-lapse video of lounging kitties chasing a sunbeam will have you ready for your own catnap

We’ve talked before about how to outsmart your cat and get it to sit wherever you want just by marking your floor with duct tape, cords, or even scarves. But enclosed spaces, whether real or implied, aren’t the only thing cats are attracted to. As experts in relaxing, they’re always on the lookout for a ray of warming sunshine, and will abandon their ordinarily contrary nature to follow its path like the hand of clock, as shown in this adorable time-lapse video that will have you ready for a catnap of your own.

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Enjoy even more “catmosphere” from the Tokyo office that’s filled with cats!

If, like me, you just can’t get enough cats in your life, then you’ll probably remember how last month we introduced you to this Japanese workplace that’s filled with cats! The Tokyo-based IT company which owns nine adorable rescue cats (which are free to play and snooze around the office as they please) has since been posting regular kitty updates to their dedicated Twitter account, so we thought it was about time we updated you!

Join us after the jump for brand-new pics of what has to be the world’s most purrfect work environment!

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R.I.P. Ginji – Japan’s bartending hamster makes us smile one last time with his brave last words

If you’re a fan of hamsters or just cuteness in general, you might remember a few months ago when talked about Ginji, the adorable little hamster with an adorable little izakaya (Japanese-style pub). But while we all took a moment (or much longer, if we’re being honest) to ooh and awe over Ginji, today we’re instead having a moment of silence, as the heartwarming hamster has passed away.

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Help! My dad turned into a cat!

Yet another feline made rounds on Japanese internet when his owner uploaded a picture of him behaving like a worn-out middle-aged man at home, comfortably lazing on the sofa while watching the TV. He sure resembles the stereotypical image we have of exhausted oji-san (middle aged man) office workers who come home from work and end up on the couch in a slump!

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Taking a page from Japan, Meow Parlour, KittyKind team up for NYC’s first cat cafe

Cat lovers in New York City have rejoiced since mid-December, when Meow Parlour, the city’s first cat cafe, opened its doors.

For the uninitiated, lets explain what a cat cafe is. It’s not a place where you take your own cat to hang out and have coffee. It’s not a restaurant that has cats on the menu. It is a place where you can enjoy the companionship of cats while sipping on coffee and munching on a cat-shaped macaron.

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Japan’s most popular kitty names, featuring inspiration from anime and sweet treats!

What are some popular cat names in your country? Back in the UK, where I’m from, you can hardly step outside without a Tigger, Smudge, Felix, or Sooty crossing your path. It stands to reason that Japan also has a dedicated pool of much-loved kitty names to choose from, and pet insurance company Anikomu recently conducted a poll to find out which ones are the most popular.

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