The feline fanciers who made internet cats such a big hit have been left drooling over pictures from a remote island in Japan where there are six cats to every human. Aoshima, located in the Miyazaki Prefecture in southern Japan, has been christened ‘Cat Island’ and has turned into a tourist’s delight over the years.
This report by Reuters says that the cats were initially brought to this elderly fishermen’s island to combat the growing number of rats. The rat infestation might be long gone but the cats have grown in numbers and currently stand at a grand total of 120.
The residents of ‘Cat Island’ are mostly retired elderly pensioners who eke out a living on the side as fishermen. Once housing 900 residents, the population of the island has dwindled over the years.
There are no restaurants, shops or even cars and the only hustle-bustle seen here is the ferry-load of tourists who arrive here from Ehime Prefecture every day.
27-year-old Makiko Yamasaki says, “I came here looking to relax. And as for how is it? Well there is a ton of cats here, then there was this sort of cat witch, who came out to feed the cats, which was quite fun. So I’d want to come again.”
However, not all residents are happy with the growing number of cats or tourists. They do concede though that if people find the company of cats healing then it’s a good thing. Hidenori Kamimoto, who is a fisherman here says, “I just hope that it’s done (sightseeing) in a way that doesn’t become a burden on the people who live here.”
This news has caused quite a flutter on social media and cat lovers have this to say about #CatIsland: