Did I say we would be discussing more cat history this week? Well, I didn’t lie per se, not if you consider this contemporary history. Our topic, of course, is Japanese cat islands.
We already discussed how awesome Japan can be when it comes to cats in our post on the very silly discovery that cats know their own names. The neko craze is real. If our kind took over an island in the United States, they would call us pest and take measures to cull our population. In Japan, they call it a cat island and give us food.
According to a travel company, the most famous of these islands is Aoshima. It is home to only 15 to 20 human residents, but about 120 of my feline fellows. No one set out to create a cat paradise there. Instead, fishermen employed cats on ships to take care of rodents. A number of these smart kitties ended up staying on Aoshima and reproducing, giving the blue (ao) island the colloquial name we know today.
Another such island is Tashirojima, where cats were introduced to protect the silkworm industry from hungry mice. I sense a pattern. All over the world, humans liked having us around to take care of furry critters who are smaller and far less adorable than we are. We then adopted you bipedals for much the same reason: you’re pretty handy, as previously discussed.
Felines and sapiens have a codependent relationship. We need each other. We like each other. I even gave my bearded human a Father’s Day card today. History brought us together because we belong together. Thanks for being around, tall ones. Now give us your islands.