DOGS HAVE been banned from Catland, an island in the Pacific. As there are more cats than humans living there, cats’ needs come first, a Japanese reader explained to me.
“But of course,” I replied, while thinking: Do I live in Asia or a children’s book?
Catland or Cat Island is the popular name for an island off the east coast of Japan, originally called Tashiro-jima. It has a human population of about 100 people, and a cat population many times larger. Thus humans are not allowed to keep dogs or bring them for visits, according to the local press.
If this sort of thinking spreads, I see big changes ahead. There are more sheep than people in New Zealand, more kangaroos than humans in Australia, more rednecks than humans in America, etc. Each country should reconfigure its infrastructure to serve the needs of the majority mammalian populations. It’s democracy, right?
ON DECEMBER 22, a video of a short fat Korean man doing a horse dance became planet Earth’s most successful cultural artifact, with one billion views on YouTube. Mayan commentators said: “So. We were off by one day.”
DID YOU read about Sanjay of Mumbai, a man who has spent the last nine months living in a tree because his wife Tara refuses to say sorry for having an affair? I wondered what the point of his protest was, until I got to the part of the report in the Asian Age newspaper which quotes his sister: “He eats and sleeps on the tree and even relieves himself from there.” For a man who is angry with the world, I can see how this could provide regular opportunities for him to achieve a significant level of personal satisfaction.
***JUST ONCE, five years ago, a completely groundless rumor went round saying that terrorists were thinking about hiding bombs in belts, and the rules were immediately changed so that everyone in the world has to take off their belts at airports. Every single year, children are gunned down at schools, yet the US never changes a single gun law. Odd?
How many US gun lobby spokesmen does it take to change a light bulb? MORE GUNS.
Why did the US gun lobby spokesman cross the road? MORE GUNS.
Do I look fat in this? MORE GUNS.
ONE OF the world’s oldest humans, a Japanese guy aged 114, died in September. Then the world’s oldest person, a woman aged 116, died on December 4th. A person aged 115, took that title. And then SHE died on December 17th. In fact, EVERYONE who gets that title dies within a year or two. Suspicious, no?
THRILLER-WRITER Dennis Lehane last week lost his dog and offered to name a character in his next novel after anyone who found it. I just hope whoever finds the beagle has the wisdom to hand it over to someone with an interesting moniker to deliver to the author, like Cookie Crackenbush or Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon (both real names). A boring name would produce a minor character, while Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon would have to be a significant presence.
AS WE HAVE a cat theme today, here’s something to start the year with a smile…