Welcome to Aoshima Island in Japan, where cats outnumber people 6 to 1. Believe it or not, this is not the only cat island in Japan. Tashirojima Island also has at least one cat for every human.
I always wanted my cats to have lives of their own – their own friends, haunts, and adventures that I didn’t necessarily have access to. I wanted them to be able to be cats, and for their relationship with me to be freely chosen.
I wondered where they went, though. They explored back yards of neighbors I had never met, and could never have walked right into without committing a major social (and legal) faux pas. A six foot privacy fence that stopped me cold was no barrier to them.
As they got older and our neighborhood became less cat friendly, my anxiety trumped my idealism, and they became indoor cats. But there are still mysteries in their histories that will never be solved. Someone spayed one of them, in her early still mostly feral days. Which was fine, except I wouldn’t have gone to all the trouble of trapping her and taking her to the clinic myself if I had known! (That’s her under the towel in my Oct. 16th post, with her two daughters sitting guard). I never found out who it was.
Another time, she went missing for several weeks. I plastered the neighborhood with flyers, saying I didn’t mind if someone else adopted her, but could they please let me know so I wouldn’t worry? She eventually turned up, skinny and hungry. I later learned she had a propensity for getting trapped in garages and basements, where she would hide out for days without making a sound.
This blogger was lucky enough to get a glimpse into her cat’s offsite socializing. Maybe we misunderstood about the nine lives of cats. They aren’t consecutive, they are parallel.