Press-Republican

FYI...

January 10, 2014

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
FYI...
  • Has the ipad lost its swag?

    The numbers are clear: Apple is selling fewer iPads.

    August 1, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20110929_bowling.jpg Why fewer people go bowling

    Like other industries facing tough economic times, America's bowling centers are trying to reinvent themselves.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 28, 2014

  • Facebook tests button to let people shop from its website

    Members on desktop computers or mobile devices can click a "buy" button to make purchases through advertisements or other posts on the world's largest social network, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post.

    July 27, 2014

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 26, 2014

  • An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

    Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

    July 25, 2014

  • An alternative diagnosis to ADHD: Schoolchildren need more time to move

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that in recent years, there has been a jump in the percentage of young people diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD: 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007 to 11 percent in 2011.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 23, 2014