Please allow us to introduce our new Caturday hero: Masahiko Suga, a 55-year-old retired electronics company worker who is, much more importantly, known throughout Tokyo as the Cat Man of Kyushu. Suga is human to nine – count them – nine incredibly floofy and impressively chill Himalayan and Chinchilla Persian cats.
But wait, Suga doesn’t simply share his home with nine cats. He also takes them out for daily strolls throughout the city in their own baby carriage. And, best of all, they all really enjoy it. (Actually, some of the cats look like they’re completely indifferent to the ride and couldn’t care less where they are so long as they’re comfortable. So at least they’re comfortable!)
“But while he achieved fame walking his cats in Tokyo, Masahiko Suga is actually known as the Cat Man of Kyushu, as he hails from the city of Kagoshima, on Japan’s third largest island. That’s where he adopted his first cat in 1999, followed by eight other siblings, and where he started parading them in a stroller. The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reports that he sometimes takes his pets to Tokyo in his van and treats them to a “walk” in the capital.”
But how did Suga get started walking his clowder of cats in the first place? According to Paw Mane Fin, Suga says he came with the idea because his cats were bored and wreaking havoc at home. He thought some fresh air might help turn their attention away from damaging his furniture.
“He swears that the daily stroll cured the cats of their boredom, and they now look forward to their outdoor adventure and the attention they always receive from passers-by.”
In addition to benefitting his cats, Suga’s daily walks also have a positive impact on the public in a few different way. For one, he hopes that his daily walks will help elevate the social status of cats to that of dogs, who are taken out for daily walks as a matter of course.
“I want more people to feel attached to cats and learn how to interact with them,” he told the Asahi Shimbun. “I hope society will eventually give cats the status it gives to dogs.”
Also, interacting with his friendly cats gives passersby an unexpected opportunity to relax and be momentarily distracted from their own busy lives.
“I am happy if I can give an opportunity for cat lovers unable to have one as a pet to feel comforted by playing with my cats,” the Cat Man of Kyushu said.
[via Oddity Central]