Let's be honest: We all get a little lonely sometimes. Between the never-ending stress of work, getting groceries, paying bills and simply trying not to die, the truth is we all need some relaxed companionship once in a while. Unfortunately, even in a city of 8 million, finding another human being to talk to — one who really "gets" us — can often feel impossible. Hell, even Kevin Sorbo needs a vacation from time to time.
Fortunately, there's a magical place where you can find all of this and more. Just a one-hour flight north of Tokyo, there exists a small, remote fishing island known as Tashirojima — and it's populated by only 100 people and an incomprehensibly large number of cats.
Commonly known as Cat Island, Tashirojima's feline origins go back almost 300 years when residents grew silkworms for the textile industry. In order to protect their business, people brought cats to the island to eat the mice that preyed on those silkworms. When the human population eventually dwindled, the cat population began to flourish. Fed by the remaining fishermen, now the animals dominate the island.
These days, Tashirojima is an Internet addict's tourist paradise where cats get the last lolz. From a cat shrine to decorated houses to rentable red and white-striped cat-shaped cabins, the creatures have left their mark everywhere.
Conventional wisdom states that there's an insurmountable opposition between cat people and dog people in the great pantheon of animal companionship. While such sectarian divides are largely artificial, it's true that dogs are not allowed on the island, so hardcore cat lovers, rejoice! This summer, you can surround yourself in all the furry attention you want, free from the slobber of man or man’s best friend.
The ancients have long warned us about this day. Many spoke of the Singularity, or of chemical warfare, or even the zombie apocalypse, but we always knew the truth: The greatest threat to human life as we know it is an invasion of catastrophic proportions. And, yet, we're powerless to stop them. They're just too damn cute.
I mean, come on.
I, for one, welcome our new feline overlords. Next vacation, maybe you should too.
If you can't make it all the way out to the island, don't worry too much. A similarly minded cat café may be coming your way soon enough.