animals

Nullify your New Year’s weight loss resolution with Year of the Horse roll cake

Nullify your New Year’s weight loss resolution with Year of the Horse roll cake

In Japan, 2014 will be another “Horse Year” on the Japanese zodiac calendar. Last year, Japan celebrated the snake, which is said to bring wisdom and good monetary fortune to businesses. The horse, however, brings leadership, good business partnerships, and instant failure to all weight loss resolutions in the form of this adorable customized roll cake from Tokyo’s renowned Rihga Royal Hotel.

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Shiba realizes walk time is actually a vet visit, feels betrayed by owners

Shiba realizes walk time is actually a vet visit, feels betrayed by owners

Kids and dogs are a lot alike in that doctor visits terrify them. Unlike kids, however, you can’t bribe dogs with after-doctor ice cream, so a lot of owners use the mostly foolproof trick of convincing their dog it’s walk time.

You can only pull that trick so many times, however, before the dog gets wise, which results in hilarious tug of war matches between pet and owner, as depicted in this adorable picture from a Japanese shiba owner.

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Japanese cat owner illustrates the many sleeping positions of our feline friends

Japanese cat owner illustrates the many sleeping positions of our feline friends

As winter grows deeper and colder, the bed is one of our safe havens of warmth and comfort. The same can be said for our feline companions that snuggle into bed with us to seek refuge from the winter chill. As they cuddle up to our warm bodies the cats morph into various and interesting positions. Have you experienced the same with your own cat? Check out these adorable pictures and compare!

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12 surprising cat facts from Japanese Internet users

12 surprising cat facts from Japanese Internet users

While dogs are also popular in Japan, many pet lovers here, perhaps due to the small size of homes, choose a cat for their animal companionship fix.

Although the gap between the number of pet cats and dogs isn’t particularly wide here, cats seem to hold a much stronger fascination for Internet users than their canine counterparts. The LOL Cats phenomenon may not have spread to Japan yet, but that doesn’t mean the country’s netizens aren’t constantly buzzing about their kitties, and today we share some of their feline talking points with you.

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Turkish cold snap literally freezes animals where they stand

Turkish cold snap literally freezes animals where they stand

It appears that Turkey is one of the few parts of the world that gets so cold it’s not an exaggeration to say, “It’s freezing out here.”

The video below depicts some donkeys found in a small village that have cartoonishly frozen in place due to the extreme cold weather and snow – a phenomena we thought only possible in Christmas-time claymation films, and the closest thing we know of to the exact opposite of China’s hellish summer heatwave that caused cars to explode.

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Cowardly dogs unable to face their greatest enemy: Cats【Video】

Cowardly dogs unable to face their greatest enemy: Cats【Video】

In the important world of Internet hierarchy, the battle between cats and dogs for the title of cutest animal is a fierce one. But someone must have told the dogs that they are losing because there are some canines out there with some inferiority issues so severe that they become frozen with fear at the mere sight of a cat. Japanese netizens are feeling nothing but pity after seeing a video of dogs, many of whom are much larger than their feline foe, timidly trying to tip-toe past a scowling cat.

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“Damn it human, help me!” One cat’s epic battle with an empty plastic bag

“Damn it human, help me!” One cat’s epic battle with an empty plastic bag

Perhaps we were wrong about cats being secret geniuses plotting to overthrow the world. This video, which is receiving a lot of attention in Japan today, suggests that there is at least one member of the feline federation that is perhaps a few strands short of a cat’s cradle.

When two-year-old Chai here spots a plastic bag on the floor of her owner’s apartment, she is naturally keen to investigate. Little does she know, though, that once she climbs inside it, the bag will simply refuse to let go…

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Who’s a pretty boy, then? Chinese “permed” chicken ruffles feathers online

Who’s a pretty boy, then? Chinese “permed” chicken ruffles feathers online

In one of the more bizarre news stories of the day – yes, even by RocketNews24 standards – a chicken in China’s Henan Province has recently shot to fame online after it was spotted sporting a fine set of curled feathers that make him look like he’s been out to get a perm to impress the ladies in the henhouse with.

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Chinese Internet auction winner claims seller bubble-wrapped his dog

Chinese Internet auction winner claims seller bubble-wrapped his dog

As December 25 draws near and stores become more and more packed with people searching for the perfect gift, no one would blame you if you opted to do all of your shopping online. Honestly, there’s never been a better age for Internet shopping, and you can bypass going out in the cold by parking yourself on your sofa with a laptop and ordering just about anything you want or need while sipping from a hot mug of cocoa (or a cold bottle of beer, if you’re lucky enough to live someplace warm even at this time of year).

Yes, with just a few clicks you can have books, groceries, or even a new pet for the family delivered right to your home. The only question is, how do you package a puppy?

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“Hamsters are friends, not food!” says Japanese snake Ao-chan

“Hamsters are friends, not food!” says Japanese snake Ao-chan

Back in school we learnt about the predator-prey system, the brutal but entirely natural way in which Mother Nature keeps things in balance. It’s a cruel world out there in the wild, but that’s just how it is.

But things don’t always go as planned, even for great Mother Nature. There are exceptions every once in a while, like this pair of miracle buddies, Gohan-chan the hamster and Ao-chan the snake, who seem to get along just fine.

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Stray dog helps street musician, musician returns the favor

Stray dog helps street musician, musician returns the favor

There’s been a lot of unsettling news coming out of the Ukraine this week, so we are pleased to offer you a much happier story from the city of Dnipropetrovsk, southeast of Kiev, about a singing dog and a street musician.

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Cute cat stands sacrifice themselves to hold up your smartphone

Cute cat stands sacrifice themselves to hold up your smartphone

It’s about time cats did something for us. We’ve pampered them on the Internet and in convenience stores for years, and all they ever did in return was learn how to poop in the litter box.

Cats are finally giving back now with these cute but somewhat disturbing smartphone stands that depict various cat breeds heroically holding up your smartphone so it won’t topple over.

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Shiro the Cat: The cutest cure for insomnia 【Video】

Shiro the Cat: The cutest cure for insomnia 【Video】

Japan has a number of sleeping arrangements that can be jarring if you didn’t grow up here. Sleeping in a futon on the floor, often in a space that doubles as your living room and/or kitchen, can take some getting used to. A surprisingly large number of pillows sometimes come filled with, by Western standards, unusual things such as buckwheat husks.

But you know what? Maybe we’re being too picky. As Shiro the Cat shows us, all you really need for a good night’s sleep is a cooking pot, and, if you’re looking to get really luxurious, a sweet potato.

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Dancing bear cubs straight out of Disney movie capture Japanese hearts

Dancing bear cubs straight out of Disney movie capture Japanese hearts

The Japanese Internet is going crazy over recent Finnish photos of a group of bear cubs who appear to be dancing around in a circle, reminiscent of the age-old nursery rhyme “Ring Around the Rosie”.

Valtteri Mulkahainen, a 52-year-old Finnish photography hobbyist, says he thought he was imagining the bears dancing around, even going so far as to say the scene was so magical he wouldn’t have been surprised if they had begun singing. Given the man’s situation as he took the now-madly circulating photos, we can’t blame him for momentarily believing he was living inside of a Disney movie.

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Cheeky otter photos that are too cute not to post!

Cheeky otter photos that are too cute not to post!

You know we can’t resisting sharing pictures of adorable animals, because we know you love them too! In today’s picture loot, we have some irresistibly cute otters ready to put a smile on your face, because cats and hamsters are too mainstream. Check out these cheeky splashing fellows!

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Real-life Winnie the Pooh caught stealing honey, on run from the law

Real-life Winnie the Pooh caught stealing honey, on run from the law

When wildlife researchers in Kochi Prefecture set up an unmanned camera in a local forest to find the cheeky wilderness creature stealing honey from an animal trap they’d set up, they probably expected to find a clever squirrel or some other creature too small or quick to set off the trap door.

Instead, what they found in video footage was what can only be described as real-life Winnie the Pooh turned to petty crime to fund his hopeless honey addiction.

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Butterfly visits penguin enclosure at Japanese zoo, whimsical chase ensues 【Video】

Butterfly visits penguin enclosure at Japanese zoo, whimsical chase ensues 【Video】

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t like penguins. Between their flightless wings and pudgy physique, there’s something inherently funny about them, which is juxtaposed and amplified by the way they look like they’re constantly dressed in formal tuxedos.

But perhaps the most comical thing of all about the monochrome birds is the stubborn dignity they show by standing at silent attention, even when surrounded by onlookers at a zoo.

Unless, that is, there’s a butterfly to chase.

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Samurai bling: Crazy armor and helmets from medieval Japan

Samurai bling: Crazy armor and helmets from medieval Japan

When people think of Japan, they often think about anime or giant robots or giant robot anime. They are also likely to think of Japan’s medieval version of giant robot anime: the samurai. For many of us, the first introduction we got to Japan was through the amazing films of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, leaving with us images of unrelenting master swordsmen.

While the world may mostly be entranced by the swords, it’s impossible to deny the beauty of the armor we also saw on the silver screen. Though surely nothing so fancy was ever actually worn during the years of Japan’s civil wars, right??

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Finally, your dog can safely leap through flaming hoops with this adorable doggy fire gear

Finally, your dog can safely leap through flaming hoops with this adorable doggy fire gear

Every dog owner has experienced it: you want your dog to sit, speak, roll over and maybe shake, but your pooch has other ambitions. Bigger dreams. He wants to join the fire brigade (you know this because you taught him to speak), but you’re worried about your little buddy’s safety.

Finally, though, you can let your doggy chase both his tail and his dreams with this adorable doggy flame-retardant suit. Join us after the jump for more adorable photos!

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Beijing man and tiny bird team up to make money

Beijing man and tiny bird team up to make money

A video uploaded to YouTube earlier this week has been causing quite a stir amongst web users in Japan today. In it, we see what appears to be a homeless man in China’s capital city asking for money from passersby on the street.

Rather than simply holding a cardboard sign asking for spare change or sitting on the ground with a paper cup like, sadly, so many are forced to, this man has a rather neat trick for generating a little extra cash: he has trained a small bird to fly into the hand of those donating their yuan and bring the coins back to him one by one!

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