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Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Cat Election in Japan

The city of Saga has found an interesting way of dealing with stray cats. Instead of sending animal control officers to round up and imprison the cats, it has turned them into celebrities. Two years ago, eight of the downtown area’s stray cats were designated “stray cat idols.” Local shops began to sell souvenirs featuring images of the eight “lucky” cats, and one bakery sold cookie reproductions of them.
However, the project soon encountered a problem that wasn’t exactly unpredictable. Sometime last year, two of the eight cats could no longer be found. Stray cats are hard to track, and apparently they sometimes relocate to new areas or just disappear.
So two of the eight cats were gone, and the city had a couple dozen other stray cats wandering around downtown. To select new members of the lucky eight, they decided to follow the example of AKB48 and have fans elect the two top idol cats:

Eight candidates were chosen and citizens were allowed to vote by placing stickers on a voting board. The voting was carried out over a period of 3 months.
The #1 cat was “Horie no Pan” (Horie’s Bread), named after a local bakery. Second place went to “Chibi #4.” However, Chibi was disqualified because he disappeared from the downtown area, apparently lured away by a female stray. Ultimately, the second spot was awarded to “Ni Sen Man En” (20,000,000 yen), who had actually come in third place.

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