Japan is well-known for its love of cats and cat culture. They were the first to pioneer cat cafes, which have since popped up all over the world, and they even have their very own island where cats dominate and outnumber people 6 to 1.
Japan also has Masahiko Suga, a 53-year-old retired electronics company worker who has become the countries first official cat man.
Masahiko can been seen walking his nine cats around Kitakyushu’s central shopping district area in south-west Japan. His daily walks have earned him the name of ‘Cat Man of Kyushu”, or Cat Uncle.
Masahiko rescued his first stray cat in 1999 and he said that they relieved his work stress but started taking them outside when they began to damage his furniture. Masahiko tells The Asahi Shimbun that he is happy if he “can give an opportunity for cat lovers unable to have one as a pet to feel comforted by playing with his cats.“
Normally taking cats outside without being safely supervised is not something I would suggest, however from all accounts and comments by people who have actually met him the cats seems to be cozy and content.
So what exactly motivates Masahiko to walk his cats? Besides not being something you would see everyday, he says “I hope society will eventually give cats the status it gives to dogs” and, in a world where our feline friends often seem to get the short end of the stick, asking for cat equality sounds pretty good to me.
What do you think cat equality or cat-ploitation?