animals

Lifelike lion and tiger backpacks from Japan will make everyone who sees you say, “Oh my!”

There are two important things to bear in mind regarding Japanese fashion. First is that, since so many people use public transportation, they almost always need some kind of a bag or backpack to carry their stuff in when they go out. Second, after spending all week wearing a mandated uniform or bland business suit, come the weekend, some people are overcome with the urge to express their individuality to the fullest with their clothing and accessory choices.

With that in mind, just about the fastest route away from your button-down Monday to Friday look is to slip on a backpack that’s the exact shape and size of a tiger’s head.

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Clever Japanese pet owners find perfect cat beds…at IKEA! 【Photos】

One of the great things about IKEA is the broad appeal of its furnishings. With understated styling, reasonable prices, and adequate quality, the Swedish-based megastore is the perfect place to find sofas for recent college graduates, dishes for newlyweds, and work desks for telecommuters.

And also, as clever Japanese pet owners have learned, adorable beds for cats.

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We think he’s purr-fect! Meet Monty, the cat born without a nose bone【Photos】

Monty is a four-year-old rescue cat who’s amassed fans from all over the world. He suffers from a rare chromosomal abnormality causing him to be born without a nasal bridge. And Monty’s owners are hoping their cat will show the world that ‘looking different doesn’t mean you can’t be fantastic!’

Join us after the jump for more adorable photos of this happy little chap!

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Ginji the hamster tends miniature bar, serves tiny sushi, makes everyone smile from his cuteness

Growing up, I, like a lot of kids, bugged my parents for a dog. They, like a lot of parents, rightly realized I envisioned myself spending more time playing fetch with it than scooping up its poo, and suggested a much more low-maintenance pet instead.

Eventually, we settled on a hamster, since at the very least the house would stay clean if it was kept in a cage. And while Hamlet (of course we named him Hamlet) never complained about his metal wireframe home, I can’t help but look at these pictures of fellow hamster Ginji and think how much cuter it would have been to make a miniature bar and Japanese-style living room for him.

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Japanese cats commandeer space heaters, owners left shivering from cold and cuteness 【Photos】

Japan gets pretty chilly during the winter, but houses and apartments aren’t designed with centralized heating systems. Since mounting an array of full-blown AC/heater units throughout your home is a pretty expensive endeavor, a lot of people instead opt to use space heaters to warm up a patch of their living room.

The downside to creating this tiny oasis of warmth, though, is that it can be hard to force yourself to leave it. This phenomena isn’t limited to humans, either, as shown by these Japanese cats lounging luxuriously in front of their owner’s space heaters.

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6 people bitten by wild boar in Tokyo

Six men and women were bitten by a wild boar in Akiruno and Fussa cities in Tokyo on Friday morning.

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More ways to magically trap a cat (or dogs who think they’re cats)【Photos】

So we’ve previously found out that cats have a certain fixation with circles, and have the tendency to plop their furry bottoms down in one, which basically goes to say that you can easily create a cat trap just about anywhere you want, as long as you’ve got some tape on hand.

Cat owners of the Internet went on to experiment and proved that you don’t even particularly need tape. Here are some of the tested and proven improvisations of “cat circles” that seem to work just as well! Check them out!

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Meerkats draw large crowds as they play in the streets of Ginza

If you thought you’d have to travel to the African continent to rub ankles with a meerkat, you’ll be happy to know that they’re closer than you think. Just take a stroll down the Ginza boulevard on any given weekend and chances are you’ll run into three friendly meerkats soaking up the sun on the side of the street.

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Meet Menswear Dog, the world’s most stylish Shiba Inu【Photos】

Bodhi is a five-year-old Shiba who lives in New York City. He’s also a talented model and one of the best-dressed dogs on the planet, so it’s no wonder he’s already racked up 150,000 followers on Instagram.

Owners Yena Kim, a former designer at Ralph Lauren, and her boyfriend David Fung started dressing Bodhi up for fun last year, posting the pictures to Facebook as a joke. Now Menswear Dog is so doggone lucrative, they’ve both been able to quit their full-time jobs to work with him.

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Adorable clothespin cats give you a reason to look forward to laundry day

As nice as it is to have clean clothes, few of us especially enjoy the process of doing laundry. But in Japan, where everyone hangs their clothes outside to dry, a couple of rainy days can mean a huge pile of laundry to get through, and it’s not unusual for people to spend a large chunk of their day off doing the washing.

So if you’re stuck at home doing housework, you may as well have some cute company, in the form of these cat-shaped clothes-pins.

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Cute, snack-loving Japanese parakeet proves even birds go into food comas

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of the Japanese language here at RocketNews24, but that’s not to say we don’t have any issues with it. For example, Japanese doesn’t really have a good equivalent for “food coma.”

We can understand certain words that are tied up in cultural or historical context not existing in other languages, but the absence of food coma in Japanese seems like a pretty big oversight. After all, everyone occasionally zones out after a really satisfying meal, whether your native language is English or Japanese…or if you happen to be a parakeet.

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Cats trapped in circles! Japanese blogger shows the best way to outsmart your kitty【Photos】

In a documentary about the making of Spirited Away, director Hayao Miyazaki is shown in his studio explaining how he wants a certain scene to look. When the dragon’s jaws are wrenched open, he says, it should look like a dog clenching its teeth, gums bared. Faced with blank stares at this analogy, he asks the animators if any of them have a dog. “I had a cat once”, offers up one young man. “A cat!” exclaims Miyazaki in despair, before whisking the entire team off to a vet’s surgery to have a closer look at some canine mouths.

Cats and dogs, as we know, are quite different, and one thing that sets them apart is cats’ contrariness. A dog’s reward is pleasing you, while a cat’s reward is pleasing itself. Getting a cat to do what you want, therefore, can be extraordinarily difficult. Unless, that is, you can manage to convince your cat that it made the decision all by itself.

From Japanese cat blog guremike, we bring you: the power of the magical cat-attracting circle. 

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New smartphone game turns your photos of real-world cats into in-game warriors

When designing a role-playing video game, there’s a tricky balance designers have to maintain. Many of today’s gamers aren’t interested in scouring the world map and non-essential dungeons to recruit new party members, but giving the player too few characters to play with makes the game feel dull and lacking in scale.

So the question is, how do you make the process of searching for new companions fun? If you’re mobile developer GeePlus, you let them take photos of cats on their smartphones, then turn those cute snapshots into in-game warriors.

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Superheroes, furry creatures, and Hello Kitty’s friend all get in on the kabe-don action

Where will it end? It seems like the Japanese internet still can’t get enough of the kabe-don phenomenon.

Over the past year, we’ve seen the trend evolve from the romantic aspirations of high school girls everywhere to incredibly intense displays of affection. This time, we’re proud to bring you 12 more glorious tweets of the kabe-don in action–and don’t think that humans are the only ones ‘walling’ it up!

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Rising star of Japanese horse racing is as ridiculously fast as he is comically scatterbrained

There are two different ways “handicap” usually gets used in horse racing. One is to refer to the process of calculating which horse is likely to win, and how to profit from that intuition (also known as “being good at betting on horses”). The other is a system in which horses that have proven to be faster than the rest of the field carry extra weight in a race.

Today, though, we’re using it to refer to a horse that recently raced in Tokyo, who’s ridiculously fast but seemed to do everything he could to let his opponents pass him for the win.

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New book teaches you to make grated radish animals: Healthier than latte art, just as cute

Japan’s become pretty enamored with latte art over the past few years, with baristas all over the country creating cute characters in swirls of cream and foam. But what if you’re not a coffee drinker, either because you’re watching your caffeine intake or just because your inner child won’t let you drink anything so bitter? Is there a way for you to set your table with eye-pleasing edibles?

Sure there is! All you need is a pile of grated daikon radish, and this new book that tells you how to craft it into adorable edibles.

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Gripping footage of a cat walking backwards on two legs is today’s must-see cat video

In a scene we’re not sure belongs in a Three Ring Circus or a feline-themed sequel to The Exorcist, a Japanese YouTuber managed to film their cat somehow not only walking on two legs – a somewhat rare occurrence compared to dogs – but doing it backwards like it does it all the time.

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Does this video about an abandoned dog leave you wiping your eyes or shaking your fist?

Generally speaking, I’m not the biggest fan of abstract personality tests. Every now and again, though, something comes around that really seems to shed light on how an individual’s mind works.

For example, if you’re extremely pure-hearted, you might see this short video of a dog reminiscing about the happy days with his former owners as a moving, even tear-jerking story. On the other hand, if you’re a bit more cynical or strict in personality, it might make you want to punch your monitor.

So which camp do you fall into? Read on and see.

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Cat Robo: The automated cat toilet that frees you from ever having to sift through kitty litter

A few days ago, we looked at a couple of cats that were mastering the art of pooping in the (people) toilet. When you stop and think about it, though, this is sort of a mixed bag for pet owners. Sure, on one hand, this frees you from the gross task of picking clumps out of the litter box. On the other hand, sharing a toilet with your cat means a lot of hair left on the seat where you put your bare butt.

If you really want an ideal cat pooping situation (and don’t we all?), you might instead want to go with this cool high-tech cat toilet that automatically sorts the litter for you after your cat does its business.

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Japanese cats show the world what they can do: poop in (and flush!) the toilet【Videos】

In addition to such cool things as opposable thumbs and the gift and speech, one of the areas in which we humans are clearly superior to other animals is our development of a sophisticated pooping culture. Not only have we reached an almost species-wide agreement that just leaving our feces lying around is not cool (with the exception of a few exasperatingly inconsiderate holdouts), we’ve also put our scientific know-how to use in developing systems to carry our feces away from our homes.

Now, though, it seems that mankind has a challenger to, and for, the throne, in the form of two cats in Japan that seem to be well on their way to mastering the toilet.

By the way, did you already have a nice, nutritious breakfast? If not, be advised that cats will be dropping deuces after the jump!

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