On one idyllic Japanese island, there's no such thing as a dog person.
Tashirojima is a dwindling two-port, 100-person fishing community where cats outnumber humans many times over. It's a real-life cat haven, where dogs are reportedly banned from entering and monuments to the feline overlords are plentiful. The story goes that cats first prospered on the island back when occupants raised silkworms and enlisted their four-legged friends to help keep the destructive mice away. Later in the 1800s, when Tashirojima's fishing grounds became popular, fishermen came to believe that the island’s cats gave hints about weather patterns and the day's catch. They doted upon the strays that would wander into their inns and thought that feeding them would guarantee prosperity.
A few years ago, a documentary crew filmed a TV segment on the cats of Tashirojima, focusing on one black-and-white male with a droopy ear. He was dubbed Jack the Lop Ear and has become somewhat of a local celebrity. Not long after, the famous feline residents found themselves attracting a much-needed rush of tourism to the island, drawing in curious camera-and-treat-wielding visitors on the slow ferry that connects Tashirojima to the mainland. The cat population has inspired novelty souvenirs, including calendars.