‘Nemuri-Neko’: is the Sleeping Cat asleep, or just pretending?

We are in Japan. As we already know, Tōshōgu Shrine, the burial place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, is the most popular tourist attraction in Nikkō. Of course, It’s popular for its elaborate architecture, but also for its carved details, including the three wise monkeys and others. One of the most notable carvings is the Nemuri-neko, or the Sleeping Cat, at the entrance to the okumiya (rear shrine) where Tokugawa Ieyasu’s remains are housed. The carving is attributed to Hidari Jingorō, a legendary 17th-century artist who…

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The story of Dick Whittington and his faithful cat

Born in the 135Os, Dick Whittington was a poor boy even if, eventually, became a wealthy merchant and three-time Lord Mayor of London. According to legend, he made his fortune thanks to the extraordinary ratting abilities of his cat. The story of Dick Whittington and His Cat is the folk tale surrounding the real-life Richard Whittington (c. 1354–1423) and it is not just a fairy tale, but it is part of the folklore of London. Today, near the foot of Highgate Hill is the famous Whittington stone, which is supposed…

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Mao Mao, the feline car model that earns more than most humans

Mao Mao, a two-year-old British Shorthair from Chongqing, China, works as a professional cat model and earns between 5,000 yuan ($775) and 10,000 yuan (1,550) per appearance. Mao Mao’s rise to fame was somewhat of an accident: her owner, a man surnamed Zheng, works in the automotive industry, and during an auto show he had the brilliant idea of putting his pet cat into one of the cars. That immediately drew a crowd of people who couldn’t wait to take a photo of the cute feline and share it on…

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How the Pussy Willow got its name

Spring gets nearer, and a symbol of the season is the Pussy Willow. Salix discolor is its botanical name, and its fuzzy buds that emerge in spring are excellent for floral arrangements or stunning in a bunch by themselves. You can leave a bunch of pussy willow branches in water and they will form roots. You can then transplant these cuttings into your garden, they will grow into a new shrubs and you can take cuttings off them for many more years. But why is it that the pussy willow…

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February 17: International Cat’s day

In Norse mythology, Freyja is a goddess associated with love, beauty, fertility, sex, war, gold, and seiðr, a type of magic practiced in Norse society during the Late Scandinavian Iron Age relating to telling and shaping of the future. She was also associated with war and death, and It was said that after a battle, she would lead a band of Valkyries to gather the fallen warriors—or half of them, at least. She would take her share of the dead to Folkvang, her hall in the home of the gods,…

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Viareggio: a statue for Ettore, the cat friend of fishermen

Ettore was abandoned in a cardboard box along the pier in Viareggio, Italy. It was 1997, and from that moment on this special cat has no longer had a home or a human owner, but countless different homes and friends. Especially the local fishermen, who went back and forth every day along the pier, becoming his family. The leftovers of the fish constituted the dinner of little Ettore, who patiently awaited his daily ration every day. It was a cat that entered the hearts not only of fishermen, who saw…

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Katzenbalgen, the Monument to Homeless Cats

In Braunschweig, Germany, where the streets Hutfilter, Damm and Kattreppeln meet in the pedestrian zone, the most gorgeous, humorous and unconventional monument of the city has stood since 1981, the “Katzenbalgen” stele by Siegfried Neuenhausen, a former professor at the Braunschweig University of Art and one of the most outstanding personalities in Lower Saxony’s art scene. The monument is impressively large and looks like a high stele, on which a variety of bronze cats are fixed in different poses. All people who see the monument for the first time notice…

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Would you like to buy a living, breathing wish-granting cat for $127,000?

Forget genies in a bottle, if you can own your very own magical cat and have all your wishes fulfilled for the modest price of 10 million rubles ($127,000)! A Novosibirsk woman recently posted a bizarre ad on Russian classified ad platform “Avito”, asking people to pay a small fortune for her pet cat, a Scottish Fold named Vincent I, or Vinsik, for friends. The woman, known only as Elena, told Russian journalists that she discovered her cat’s wish-granting powers by accident, and has since tested its effectiveness three times,…

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Nekobiyaka: the world’s only black cat cafe

The Japanese castle town of Himeji is home to the only known black cat café in the world, Nekobiyaka, where you can enjoy a refreshing drink in the company of about a dozen felines, strictly black! Despite there are hundreds of cat cafes all over Japan, (including the one located in Tokyo’s district of Akihabara), but only one dedicated exclusively to black cats. Nekobiyaka opened in 2013 and has since become somewhat of a tourist attraction in Himeji. The owner, Ms. Yagi, came up with idea of a black cat…

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Phet and Ploy: the most expensive cat wedding in the world!

On this day, October 5, 1996, a beautiful bride wore a pink satin dress and arrived by helicopter. And the groom, dressed in a pink tuxedo with precious lacy cuffs, also came in style, with a Rolls-Royce. Not an ordinary affair…as the couple were cats. In details, “Diamond Eye” cats, as they are popularly known. The couple was carried in to the ceremony by their owner Vicharn Jarat-archa who ran a cosmetics business. He had found Phet, the groom, earlier in the year at a spot along the Thai-Burma border.…

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Torre Argentina – the Roman Cat Sanctuary

As you probably know cats in Rome are very popular and they have always found shelter amongst the ancient city ruins. They are also protagonists of numerous postcards depicting them sitting on stumps of old Roman columns, cat napping on the foot of an emperor’s statue, or just lounging near the Colosseum. And, in addition, in Rome stray cats have an ancient temple-complex all to themselves. Known as Largo di Torre Argentina, this archaeological wonder was excavated as part of Mussolini’s rebuilding efforts in 1929, revealing four Republican victory-temples that…

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Singapore: couple divorce after wife becomes obsessed with pet cats

Singaporean media recently reported the bizarre divorce case of a couple whose separation was largely caused by the wife’s obsession with cats, which eventually drove her husband out of their house. It is not another fake news: in a sentence issued on May 21, Judge Sheik Mustafa Abu Hassan pronounced the official divorce of a couple that been married for 45 years, but separated for the last 14 years. The couple, named during the court proceedings to protect their identities, had reportedly married in 1975 and had three children over…

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Mrs. Chippy Monument at Karori Cemetery | Wellington | New Zealand |

Early polar exploration was a lonely adventure, where sailors would be stuck on their ships for months, subsisting on barely edible rations among some of the world’s most inhospitable climates. However, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914–1917 was made just a bit happy by the presence of the adorable ship’s cat, Mrs. Chippy. Mrs Chippy was taken on board the ship Endurance by carpenter Harry “Chippy” McNish. “Chippy” is a colloquial British term for a carpenter, and the cat acquired its name because, once aboard, it followed McNish…

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The true story of Trim, the adventurous cat belonging to navigator Matthew Flinders

Outside Sydney’s Mitchell Library stands a statue of Matthew Flinders, the celebrated English navigator and cartographer who helped map Australia, declared it a continent, and was influential in giving it its current name. In addition, on a window ledge behind the statue stands a bronze figurine of his faithful cat, Trim, who accompanied the seafarer on many of his adventures. Eyes wide open and a front paw raised, he is sculpted alert, as if waiting to pounce on a pigeon. A plaque in front of the statue explains the cat…

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A curfew has been introduced in Australia for “nuisance” cats.

Mount Barker council in Adelaide, Australia, says it will curb “delinquent” behaviour by the region’s cats and they need to stop roaming the streets by night. The council has vowed to crack down on the “nuisance behaviour” of local cats, passing new regulations to limit the number of felines per property and forcing owners to keep their pets inside at night. So, residents of Mount Barker will face penalties if their cats are found roaming the streets at night after the local council passed tough new regulations. The new by-laws…

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Maneki Neko: history and legend of the Japanese lucky cat

Japan is a great country for cat lovers: there are, for example, islands with more cats that inhabitants, and the most popular is Tashirojima, or you can drink something in one of the many Cat Cafes, scattered around the country even if, ironically, most apartments don’t allow pets! If you want to obtain cute cat-like items, one of the most popular is without a doubt the Maneki Neko (招き猫), also often known as Lucky Cat. The Maneki Neko, literally the “beckoning cat,” is a very common Japanese figure. Its paw…

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England’s (almost) forgotten pet massacre of 1939

In the first week of September, 1939, London’s animal shelters were overflowing with guests. The queues of people and their pets meandered down the streets in a typically British manner, calm, dignified and orderly. However, the owners of dogs, cats, rabbits and even parrots and other birds who were waiting to visit vets and animal charities were harbouring a terrible secret. All pet-owners were waiting to euthanize their pets, even if none of the animals were dying, and none of them were even sick. The distraught Londoners had brought them…

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25 best photos of working cats!

Although this might seems incredible, some cats don’t shy away from getting their paws dirty! And to prove that they got more important things to do than enchanting their human friends with their purrs, below there are some of the best pictures of the most hardworking felines. There have been numerous cats who held real jobs as well. For example, when Empirical Brewery in Chicago noticed that their grain is being eaten by rodents and insects, they started thinking about the best way to solve this problem and decided to…

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Monumental Kitty of Detroit, Michigan~

Although it may seem strange, one of Detroit’s most beloved felines isn’t curled up on a windowsill or lazing on on the knees of some more or less unlikely cat lady. In reality it doesn’t even purr, and look at motorists shuttling down a fairly unremarkable service drive en route to the freeway. It is a brick sculpture, with wide eyes and pointy ears, known as Monumental Kitty, and since 2010 has been charming drivers. It was created by the local artist Jerome Ferretti, who once worked as a journeyman…

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Houtong: the old Taiwanese mining village saved by cats.

Once, it was a prosperous mining village in Ruifang District of Taiwan, renowned for its rich, well-preserved railway culture with the old Yilan Line which was built during the Japanese colonial period for transporting resources out of northern Taiwan. Houtong was a train stop on the Yilan Line, and at one point was, with around 220,000 tons of coal per year, one of the largest providers of coal in the country: the largest amount of coal yielded in a single area in Taiwan. This attracted many immigrants to the area,…

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The best Japanese craftsmen make a series of Furniture for Cats.

The tendency to create specific objects for pets is constantly increasing, thanks also to the media success that our small friends receive on social networks and on the web. The latest news comes from Japan, where, as we already know, cats are really loved. Just think of the famous chain of Cat Cafè Mocha, or Tashirojima, which is only one of the cats’ islands in Japan. Here, the Okawa furniture line was created, specially designed for cats. The campaign is titled “Craftsman MADE Okawa”, and aims to give a new…

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Mocha Cat Café. Take a break, with Japanese Cats!

Mocha Cat Cafè it’s a brand very popular in Japan. With ten branches and counting, this popular chain knows how to deliver a cat-cafe experience to every cat lover. It seems that the cat-cafè located in Akihabara (in photo) is one of the most larger. Given the neighborhood, it’s especially popular also with tourists, and staff are prepared to accommodate visitors in English (more or less). There are 28 resident cats, including a lot of very fluffy and pretty cats and exotic breeds. There are three spacious playroom areas, with…

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Mummies of Cats and Scarabs: New Surprising Discoveries from Ancient Egypt!

Minister of Antiquities Dr. Khaled El-Enany announced some days ago a new discovery made by an Egyptian archaeological mission during excavation work carried out since April until now at the area located on the stony edge of King Userkaf pyramid complex in Saqqara Necropolis. Although it has been known for a long time that for the Egyptians cats were sacred, and they were routinely mummified and even bred for this purpose, to be faced with dozens of mummies of cats, buried inside a tomb dating back to 4500 years ago…

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Tashirojima: a paradise for cat-lovers in Japan.

Tashirojima (田代島) is a small, rural island off the coast of central Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture. Informally known as “Cat Island”, It’s just over three kilometers long and It is the paradise of a large colony of felines, which are cared for and worshiped by the island’s human residents. It is part of a group of about a dozen “islands of cats” in Japan, small places where there are more feline residents than humans. More than a hundred cats roam the island (about 120), and they are owners of…

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The Hermitage in St.Petersburg maintains still today a Colony of Cats to keep the Museum free from mice.

The State Hermitage Museum in the Russian city of St. Petersburg is one of the oldest and most prestigious museums in the world. The gigantic collection, which has over three million pieces, was started by the Tsarina Catherine, but became accessible to the public, like a museum, since 1852. Among the historic buildings that make up the great Hermitage complex is the Winter Palace, the residence of the Russian imperial family. The tradition of Cats at Court dates back to a 1745 decree of Empress Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter…

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