People Can’t Get Enough Of These Pics Capturing Cats Taking Shelter From The Rain Under A Sacred Japanese Cat Shrine

The golden rule among cat-kind—if it fits, I sits—is one that they surely live by. But it’s more than just proving once again their very liquid nature and fitting into hard-to-squeeze places—it is actually more a question of comfort, both in the sense that they want to feel safe and want to feel cozy. And who can blame them? Everyone wants that!

One Twitter user recently showed just how much cats love comfort. So much that they won’t care where they sit, even in a shrine, just so that they can get out of the rain.

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Cats don’t like rain and will always look for a place to hide form it—even if it is a sacred shrine

Image credits: ttt_zegu952

Twitter user and photographer ttt_zegu952 has recently snapped some pictures of several cats (individually or together) chilling in a sacred cat shrine in Japan, completely ignoring the sacredness of the place so that they can get out of the rain.

Very appropriate for a cat to sit in a cat shrine, especially one surrounded by a number of maneki-neko, or beckoning cat figures. The small statuettes portray cats sitting up and beckoning with their front paws.

Turns out, there’s a cat shrine found in Tashirojima, a small fishermen’s island east of Mainland Japan

Image credits: ttt_zegu952

And it seems the island’s numerous inhabitants, cats, are often seen hiding here from the rain

Image credits: ttt_zegu952

You see, in Japanese folklore, it is said that cats have protective powers and are a symbol of good fortune. What is more, this particular shrine, the Miyori Daimyojin or Neko Jinja, is found in Tashirojima, a small fishermen’s island on the eastern coast of Japan.

The island has become known as Cat Island because of the fact that it has a huge stray cat population that thrives there because of a local belief, as is custom in folklore, that feeding cats will bring wealth and good fortune.

According to Japanese folklore, cats have protective powers and are symbols of good fortune

Image credits: ttt_zegu952

Image credits: ttt_zegu952

There is also a legend that fishermen believed cats were a good sign and that their presence would guarantee a good catch. Thus, they treated cats with kindness. One day, however, one fisherman accidentally hit a cat with a stone when he was anchoring his boat, after which the cat died. The cat shrine was built to honor it.

So, in the picture, you can see an adorable stray making himself comfortable inside a miniature Shinto shrine, a structure built to house one or more kami, holy spirits. Its most important buildings are used for safekeeping of sacred objects, not worship, which explains all of the cat figurines put about.

Legend says that the shrine was built to honor a cat that was accidentally killed by a fishermen

Image credits: ttt_zegu952

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Image credits: ttt_zegu952

Since it’s “Cat Island,” it should come as no surprise that this wasn’t the only cat that has been seeking shelter from the rain here. Both ttt_zegu952 as well as a number of others have shared pictures of other cats that have been here, either hanging out or hiding under the protective shrine roof.

While the shrine was originally built by humans to honor the cat in the legend, the numerous cats coming in do come off as also coming to honor the cat for whom the shrine was built many years ago.

The island itself is sometimes referred to as Cat Island because of its booming cat population

Image credits: ttt_zegu952

It is said that there are more cats living on the island than there are humans

Image credits: ttt_zegu952

As it turns out, this isn’t the only location where cats are worshiped, as there’s also Gotokuji Temple, or Tokyo’s “Lucky Cat” Temple, in the Setagaya Ward, Tokyo. It is a Buddhist temple that is said to be the birthplace of the maneki-neko.

The tweet of the cat picture went viral, garnering over 70,000 likes and nearly 20,000 retweets. The original poster also shared other photos of other cats that they have encountered at the shrine, and other tweeters also posted their own encounters with cats at this very same shrine.

And this isn’t the only place dedicated to cats as there are a number of temples honoring them throughout Japan

Image credits: kato_kouta

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think we should have more cat shrines around the world or do you perhaps have your very own cat shrine at home? Let us know in the comment section below.

Here’s how the internet reacted to the viral cat-in-the-shrine photos


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