The Isle of Cat

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.


The Secret Life of Cats

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.
A cat sits on the seat of a parked motor scooter
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.

The Psychedelic Vision of Cats

Closeup of the face of a cat which is staring fixedly at somethingAccording to this post on PetMD, cats probably perceive the ultra violet light spectrum, and all of the things it makes shiny, which humans cannot. Before you envy our furry friends for their superior vision, think about it for a minute. Do you really want to be able to see urine and other bodily fluids wherever they might be?

I didn’t think so. 🙂

What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

Dear Cattykism,

Although I pride myself on my aplomb, between you and me, there are occasions that catch me by surprise. How can I buy a little time to consider the correct reaction to a situation without revealing my uncertainty?


Dear Obfuscat,

We all find ourselves in these situations, especially those of us who live with humans, who are so frequently bewildering or eccentric in their behaviors. There are several ways to postpone a reaction while determining a suitable course in a new or confounding situation.

If the circumstance is more one of confusion than threat, spontaneous grooming sessions are never inappropriate. Distraction by potential prey is also entirely permissible. This includes prey that may not be perceptible to the blunted vision of humans.

If the situation is potentially alarming, we recommend an interlude of post scratching (or whatever is available). While this is not as overtly hostile as a stare, hiss or snarl, it subtly underscores one’s readiness for battle, should battle become necessary.

Finally, retiring to a location of established safety from which you can reconnoiter may be a prudent strategy. This time-honored tactic is preferred by many of our readers who are of a more conservative disposition.

We hope these suggestions have been of assistance, and commend you for your diligence in upholding the dignity of all felines.

The Cattychism Panel