1. Cats are worshipped at shrines
So far, there are nine places of worship in Japan that are devoted to the worship of cats for their abilities – to catch mice, superior night vision, and fearlessness against big predators. There are also shrines which are devoted to the worship of divine cats from Japanese legends such as the nekomata (猫また, a cat beast), and the manekineko (招き猫, beckoning cat), for protection and luck.
Of course, don’t forget that Tama the Station Master of Kishi Station in Wakayama Prefecture was honoured as a goddess and buried in a Shinto shrine after she passed away.
2. Cats have important jobs
Cats are hired to work as station masters – the second generation of Kishi Station’s feline station master, Nitama (Tama No. 2), was subsequently appointed after seeing Tama’s ability to save the local train line. Not only that, these comforting felines are “hired” as office pets for their relaxing attitudes, resulting in increased productivity among the human colleagues.
3. Food is created in the image of cats
When you love cats so much that you’ll want – to eat them?! Felissimo has Nyamucha (nya from the cat’s meow + yum cha) and marshmallows which may be too adorable for some to eat. There are also cute cat and other animal doughnuts (Floresta Japanese site), and cat parfaits (Kotoba no Haoto Japanese site) which are widely popular. It’s Japan after all, so you will find many beautifully designed pastries and meals around.
4. Cats are believed to bestow fortune
Usually made of ceramic or plastic, these feline statues are depicted with one paw raised as if beckoning. This pose however, is believed to be beckoning fortune and good luck, so they are often found at the entrances of restaurants and businesses. These lucky cats are so popular that they are even bought as souvenirs.
5. People pay money to pet cats
Who wouldn’t pay money to go to cat cafes, seek out companionship of a warm, furry friend? Especially when your landlord doesn’t allow pets, it’s all you can do to get some lovin’ from furry friends. Be warned though – it can get really crowded, or expensive if you stay for long hours as they generally charge a time-based fee. In some cat cafes, prized pedigrees may grace you with their presence, while others have mixed breeds or even from cat shelters. Even then, they are all so adorable and lively!
6. Cats dominates islands
Japan has 11 cat islands; some with clowders of cats which outnumber the residents! Cats were initially introduced to these fishing ports to protect silkworms – whose silk were used to make fishing nets. These islands are really the cat’s meow as you can play with friendly kitties for free.
7. People want to smell like cats
You can now smell like your cat! In fact, some people believe that their cats smell so good that they want to harness that fragrance. And you can! The Japanese company Felissimo is selling a spray that smells like cat head (Japanese site), and even a hand cream which lets your
paws hands smell like cats (Japanese site)!
8. Clothes are made to carry cats around
Your cat is now king – Unihabitat, a Japanese brand, has designed the Mewgaroo hoodie for cat owners to snuggle or carry their cats around. The hoodie has cat ears while the sleeves have paws which allows you to tap into your feline spirit! Or, if you prefer, you can even curl up for a catnap in their adorable Mewgaroo Jumpsuit with your pet cat.
9. Cats control finances
If you want to be a fat cat, you have to save your catsh (cash) in this adorable kitty bank. The cat in the box will accept your money and keep it safe. Also a great source of entertainment for your kitty.
10. People eat cat food
The Nestle Purina PetCare Company had opened a restaurant serving a full course French style food inspired by cat food for humans in celebration of the unofficial cat day on February 22. It was called Restaurant Mon Petit (Japanese site), named after Mon Petit cat food. The waiters are dressed as cats, wearing the Necomimi (cat ears that move based on brainwaves). Not sure if you want to eat there, but it does see like an interesting place to check out if they reopen it again.
Have a nya-ice day!