Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Caturday special - Stray cats in Kyoto

What, you want to know where I'm going? Just follow me....
Well, since I expected Kyoto to be a really big city (which it is), I didn't think I would get to see any cats there...but looks like I have been proven wrong!


But for the start of this story, here is little language lesson:
"Cat"="Neko" (猫)
"Kitten" = "koneko" (子猫)
(And in German: 
"Cat" = "Katze" (female), "Kater" (male), 
and "Kitten"= "Kätzchen)"

And now a nice and cold fish would be just great....
At times I've been wondering whether Japan fell in love with nekos, but for that, there were not so many cats roaming free around the streets. Most cats are probably really pets and kept in the house only. But that's the same in Germany...unless you life on the countryside!This made me even more surprised to see so many nekos in Kyoto!

Can't you see we're having a meeting here?
So what makes me assume that these cats that I met there were stray ones? Well, they gathered all at one place, and several of them didn't look very well kept. But no matter of stray or not stray, they gathered there together and surely enjoyed their time.

With the exeption of pet asylums and vets, this is the first time I saw so many cats at once! But maybe even the cats have different customs in different countries? Would my cat be able to understand a japanese cat? I have no idea....

Tetsugaku no Michi
The place where they gathered was along the "Philosopher's path" called Tetsugaku no Michi (哲学の道). The path is called that way because a philosoph called Kitaro Nishida is said to always have used this way to meditate. And I can understand why, even without the cherry blossoms, (after all I was there in late summer time), this path is really beautiful, you can here the small river at the side, watch the fish, listen to the songs of the insects, and just enjoy the beauty of nature right in the middle of such a big city! :) And from what I saw, not so many people were going for a walk there.

Hm? Ah, just another human....
It was a very hot day, about 38°C for sure, and the sun was "burning", so I can understand very well that all these cats didn't feel doing much besides staying in the shadows to "chill". I would have done this too, if there weren't so much to see and take in! And I had to make photos of all of the nekos and konekos, of course! There were other people too, and also made photos of the cats, but I think I'm the only one who went beyong the little "fence" and right in between the cats. But I didn't had the impression that they were bothered by me, so.... :)

Here is a little video to show a bit better on how many cats were on the single place! 

There are a few more photos too, but I don't want to spill this post with photos only. So if you're interested in them, you should visit the Album on google+ 

 There's also the story about the Maneki Nekos and the Bakenekos, but this will have to wait for another time... :)

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