Caturday felid trifecta: Cat Island, new cat-related movie, cat photos taken at the right moment

AV News has an article about an area you may have heard of: “Cat Island” in Japan, Tashirohjima Island, where there are six cats for every human. As the Atlantic relates, Japan actually has about a dozen “cat islands”, areas where felines run free and outnumber humans, and their article is about Aoshima Island, which also has a 6:1 ratio (is this some kind of ecologically stable ratio, with each human able to support six cats?) I’ll show photos (or a video) from each island.

Tashirojima: a video.


Aoshima. (I worry that these cats are not properly cared for and have disease or hunger). You tell me why so many of these cats are yellow or orange!

Feeding them:



Did anybody see last year’s movie “Nine Lives” with Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Garner? I didn’t even hear about it except in this May review in the Guardian, which, after calling it “The most important movie of the Trump era,” adds some info:

Great art speaks truth to power: Shakespeare’s King Lear, Picasso’s Guernica, Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. It provokes, it challenges, it implores change. In our time of global uncertainty and upheaval, one film has attempted to take on that mantle without fear of consequence. Nine Lives, a film about an absent father (Kevin Spacey) who is turned into a cat by a magical pet shopkeeper (Christopher Walken), is currently on 11% on Rotten Tomatoes. It is a certifiable box office flop. And it is the most important movie of the Trump era.

The key to understanding Nine Lives is throwing out everything you think you know about film. I admit, the trailer has all the hallmarks of a bad children’s movie – the cheesy voiceover, the record scratch moment, the prerequisite scatological humour where Kevin Spacey urinates in his ex-wife’s handbag, and the wordplay. The tedious, tedious wordplay. At one point a character is asked “Do they make MRIs for cats?”, and he replies – his eyes dead, dreading the inevitability of the pun he knows he has to make – “you mean cat scans?”

Except this is not a children’s movie. At all. And I don’t just mean that in the sense that it goes to very dark places (divorce, families having to decide whether to take their vegetative relatives off life support, one character attempting suicide – this all happens). There are large chunks of the movie that no child could find interesting. Conversations about New York real estate. Corporate business structure. Several (I mean several) scenes about how the company board votes for its CEO.

. . . And that’s the key. Nine Lives isn’t a film about Trump. It’s a film to him. He is the entirety of the target audience. This isn’t really a film at all – it is a message to the most powerful man in the world, begging him to change his ways. It doesn’t do so with anger – it coaxes with the things that will appeal to him, like jokes about skyscraper regulations, ex-wives and awesome skydiving billionaires that everyone inexplicably loves.

Here’s the trailer. Sadly, the movie gets an abysmally low 12% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 41% audience rating, because people like cats better than bad movies. I usually love movies with Spacey, but I think I’ll skip this one.


Finally, Bright Side has “17 Cat Photos Taken at Exactly the Right Moment“. You be the judge; here are five:

h/t: Matthew Cobb, Arno, Matt


  1. Joseph Stans
    Posted September 23, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    The prefecture delivers food, medicine, and vets to the to the Islanders for the cats. The cats a very well taken care of. Better than most elderly Americans. I have been to this island and my dream is to retire and find an island where a billion elderly Japanese ladies will take care of me.

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted September 23, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    As much as I like cats, we have two at this time, I wonder what is it these folks do not understand about spay and nueter.

    Cannot imagine a political movie about trump with cats in it. Just does not go. Speaking of not going – the NBA champions are not going to the White House this time. Can you guess why?

  3. DrBrydon
    Posted September 23, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I hate the phrase “speaking truth to power,” and question whether, given the nature of Jacobean patronage, Shakespeare did so.

  4. Merilee
    Posted September 23, 2017 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    OT but brilliant evo-devo song:

    • Posted September 24, 2017 at 12:59 am | Permalink

      Acapellascience is great. Wonder what Jerry thinks?

  5. neil
    Posted September 23, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Oh please try to watch Nine Lives; it is indeed probably about as artistically relevant as a Herbie movie, but time spent watching Christopher Walken being…well, Christopher Walken, is never really wasted.

    • Diane G.
      Posted September 24, 2017 at 2:18 am | Permalink

      If that Guardian reviewer had wanted to convince me to never see that movie, he couldn’t have done a better job.

      • neil
        Posted September 24, 2017 at 4:19 am | Permalink

        “Guardian Film Review” is as about as succinct a trigger warning as you can get…

        • Diane G.
          Posted September 24, 2017 at 4:29 am | Permalink


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