There are 120 cats and 20 people on this tiny island.
If I've learned anything in the six months I’ve lived here, it’s that things prove that Japan is kitty crazy.
Needless to say, on Aoshima Island, cats rule, people drool , and tourists are the fools who surrender the occasional rice balls or sandwiches to the kitty overlords.
I’m all for not feeding cats human food, but if confronted by a hoard like this …
… you might offer up your ham sandwich too.
While the cats will beg, DEMAND food from the recent influx of tourists visiting Aoshima Island , the cats are doing just fine, if not flourishing.
As for the well-being of the cats beyond feeding and basic care, mainland vets visit the cats regularly to make sure the population is healthy.
In other words, is the population being controlled?
At this point, 10 of the Aoshima cats have been neutered via a TNR (trap-neuter-return) program.
Though this is a small percentage of the cats on the island, it is part of the community’s effort to employ TNR programs, instead of capturing and/or killing the cats.
On Japan’s other “cat islands” (there are 11!), the government is making efforts, albeit slow-going, to humanely control the cat populations.
The goal is not to eradicate the cats on Aoshima but keep the number of cats balanced and healthy.
While life with more than 100 headstrong kitties can be trying at times.
You know how your cat has the midnight crazies?
Imagine that, times 120.