One Ticket to 'Cat Island,' Please
For some, an island filled with cats might sound like a nightmare, but to me, it's a dream come true. So my ultimate vacation destination might be Aoshima, a.k.a. "Cat Island." Located off the coast of Ehime in Japan, this mile-long island is home to 22 human residents—and around 120 cats. That's nearly 6 cats per person!
Nine hundred people lived on Aoshima during World War II, but now, the island is occupied by "pensioners who didn't join the waves of migrants seeking work in the cities" after the war, according to NBC. The cats were introduced to the island to get rid of mice on fishermen's boats. They made themselves at home, multiplied, and became a tourist attraction, which doesn't necessarily thrill the residents. "If people coming to the island find the cats healing, then I think it's a good thing," 65-year-old fisherman Hidenori Kamimoto said. "I just hope that it's done in a way that doesn't become a burden on the people who live here."
There are no predators on the island, so the cats are free to roam as they please: Photos over at The Atlantic show the feral felines gathering in the harbor, begging and jumping for food, and hanging out at abandoned schools. Maybe, with enough encouragement, they'd be up for some cuddling.
In the immortal words of Liz Lemon, "I want to go to there." And to Rabbit Island, too.