Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Community News Network

December 27, 2013

The purrfect island cat paradise

OZU, Japan — About 13 kilometers (eight miles) off Shikoku in the Sea of Iyo, there's an island whose feline population exceeds that of the human islanders by five times.

Aoshima, an island spanning 1.5 kilometers (about .9 miles) from east to west and just 500 meters (about .3 miles) from north to south in Ozu, is called the "island of cats," as more than 100 cats live there, while there are only 15 people.

In late September, Aoshima became a focus of attention on the Internet, drawing a number of visitors from all over Japan. The island, which doesn't have accommodations, restaurants or even vending machines, has become a paradise not only for cats, but also for cat lovers.

The 15 non-feline residents range in age from their 50s to their 80s. Four of them are fishermen, and most of the others are pensioners. During World War II, the island's population increased due to an inflow of evacuees and peaked at 655 in 1960. Since then, the majority have left the island to find jobs.

Currently, a ferry — the only means of transportation — connects Aoshima and the island of Shikoku twice a day.

According to the islanders, about a decade ago, when the number of islanders fell below 50, the number of cats began to increase apparently due to abandoned cats breeding unchecked. There are many vacant houses that serve as their comfy hideouts. They are also free from traffic accidents as there are no cars on the island.

"They bother me because they sometimes sneak into my house. But there's nothing we can do about the increasing number of cats," said fisherman Hidenori Kamimoto, 63, taking a benevolent attitude.

On one sunny autumn day, dozens of cats were lounging behind walls. When people come around, the cats approach them for food. Pictures of such scenes were taken, posted on the Internet and re-posted on blogs.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
  • Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'

    In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.

    April 15, 2014

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • bomb1 VIDEO: A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong

    The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Google acquires drone maker Titan Aerospace to spread Internet

    Google is adding drones to its fleets of robots and driverless cars.
    The Internet search company said it acquired Titan Aerospace, the maker of high-altitude, solar-powered satellites that provides customer access to data services around the world. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

    April 14, 2014

  • E-Cigarettes target youth with festivals, lawmakers say

    The findings, in a survey released Monday by members of Congress, should prod U.S. regulators to curb the industry, the lawmakers said. While e-cigarettes currently are unregulated, the Food and Drug Administration is working on a plan that would extend its tobacco oversight to the products.

    April 14, 2014

  • Search teams will send unmanned sub to look for missing Malaysian airliner

    Teams searching for a missing Malaysian airliner are planning for the first time to send an unmanned submarine into the depths of the Indian Ocean to look for wreckage, an Australian official leading the multi-nation search said Monday.

    April 14, 2014

  • Why Facebook is getting into the banking game

    Who would want to use Facebook as a bank? That's the question that immediately arises from news that the social network intends to get into the electronic money business.

    April 14, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stepping forward: The real Colbert

    Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.

    April 11, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller