The tweet went out and Japan heard the cry for more cat food. The response was swift and overwhelming. Donations poured into the tiny island last week to feed the famous and hungry cats of Aoshima.
More than 140 cats live on Aoshima in southern Japan, about a 30-minute boat ride from the mainland. Felines there outnumber the humans by eight to one. Aoshima was once home to 1,000 humans, but now only 16 remain– mostly old age pensioners. “In spring and summer, tourists bring food to feed the cats but when it gets cold, the sea is rough and nobody comes,” Kazuyuki Ono told AFP, which ran the story about the cat food crisis. “Sometimes boats can’t cross in the rough seas. It’s a mysterious little island.”
When the island ran out of cat food, Ono issued a plea for help. “Food began pouring in from all over Japan,” said Ono, 59. “We’re asking people to stop sending donations. But the cats couldn’t be happier.”
Hundreds of boxes of cat food arrived at Aoshima dock in time for February 22, Cat Day in Japan. “The food started arriving right at that time,” said Ono. “There’s so much of it now we can’t store it,” he added.