Cat owners know - cats are the ultimate source of joy. Petting a warm, furry, purring body is therapeutic and a perfect way to unwind after a stressful day.
Now imagine that, times a hundred.
Even if you have two or more cats, nothing can equate to the literal rivers of cats that live in certain parts of the world. Let’s take a tour of the legendary cat colonies and islands around the world. Get ready for some serious calm just from seeing them!
Tonawanda Island, NY
You might know Niagara River for the waterfall, but one small island has gotten another claim to fame: cats. Hundreds of them. Tonawanda Island in NY has become a dumping ground for unwanted cats, which were quickly multiplying and overrunning the island. A trap and neuter project undertaken last year has managed to tame the numbers a bit, as have adoptions of kittens out of the island, but it is still a kitty haven where you’re just as likely to meet a friendly cat on the street as a frightly neighbor.
Ainoshima Island, and Tashirojima Island, Japan
The kitties in upstate NY might be unwelcome, but that’s only because they are competing for space with the island residents. On the two cat islands in Japan, there is no competition - for over 100 cats on each island, only about 15 people live on Ainoshima Island and around 85 on Tashirojima. The beautiful cats might be feral but they live peacefully on the islands without much of a threat, making them friendly and unafraid of humans. They roam the buildings and greet the cat-loving visitors who travel to the islands to be submerged in flood of fluff.
When Disneyland opened, its famous large mouse was joined by the smaller, less cute variety. To solve the mouse problem, Disneyland released a bunch of cats on the grounds… and the wild cats have been making the attraction their home ever since. There are about 200 feral (but fed and spayed/neutered) cats living on the park grounds, and they work the night shift, keeping the park free of pests. Some do venture out during the day so if you’re visiting the park, keep an eye out!
Houtong Cat Village, Taiwan
Houtong was once a thriving mining town, but as the industry declined and people moved away, the cats began to move in. The village is now home to over 100 cats, which has given it a spot as a tourist destination for any cat lovers. This has helped the area’s economy, which in turn helps keep the cats healthy and well-fed. Now that’s teamwork!
Hemingway Home, FL
Visiting a museum is usually a hands-off affair. The Ernst Hemingway Home and Museum in the Florida Keys is a different kind of museum, one whose attractions wander around the grounds. The museum is home to 40 - 50 cats and if you look carefully you will realize they all have something in common - they are polydactyl, or six-toed. Hemingway loved the cats and had over 40 when he was living at the house (we bet that was the secret to his creativity!).
- by Yuliya