As you may or may not know, there is a special haven for cats and cat lovers in Japan that lets you enjoy both felines and serenity. It almost sounds like heaven – blue skies, the lapping shores, a kazillion cats, and a peaceful life. This special place is called Aoshima, also best known as Cat Island for those who heard of it. If you dream to be surrounded by cats, then this place exists for you.
If you want to know why it’s called Cat Island, it has more cat residents than humans in the entire vicinity of the island. This fishing village only has a hundred residents and almost six times more cats lazing around the harbour and even on the rooftops. Expect them to welcome you as soon as you arrive by lazing on the wooden boards of the pier.
Before, this small fishing village rarely gets visitors, but as time passed and technology progressed, the word spreads like wildfire and eventually grabs attention worldwide and gets the love it deserves. This island now open its doors to cat lovers around the world and let them play with the healthy strays around them. While it may only be allowed for just a day trip, it is still a place you need to visit if you ever dreamed of petting an entire army of cats.
Before you get concerned about their living conditions, you should know that they are well taken care of by the residents, specifically the kind village nurse Atsuko Ogata. She makes sure that the cats are fed and taken care of. These cats may look like they dislike the affection and cuddles, but they demand your pats and kisses as well. If you happen to carry snacks with you, expect a pounce from them in a playful manner.
With just 15 people as permanent residents, these cats make streets feel less lonely and living there feel more like a bliss. There are no really strict rules during your visit, provided you be on your best behaviour and never harm any of the residents – cats and humans alike. Like your average cats, they love playing and getting affection from people.
While there is no clear declaration in terms of adopting a cat from the island, you can spend a day with them by playing, cuddling, or feeding them. They are used to people despite the small population of people they are used to. They can be extremely friendly and might even leap on your lap while you relax in parks and such. So if you ever find yourself in Japan, make sure you drop by this place and enjoy the company of these friendly felines!