Grapevine: Japanese island overrun with cats

How village is handling problem


Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

The Long Walk Home

An Indianapolis mom is fuming after she says her six-year-old son was forced to walk a half mile through snow and traffic to get home from school Monday.

The confusion appears to have come because no one told the boy he needed to ride a different bus than the one that dropped him off in the morning.

Cameron Beers told his mom the substitute driver on that route made him get off at the wrong stop and would not listen to his protests.

So, he started the trek home, down a busy road, with knee-deep snow on each side.

His mother says Cameron was in tears by the time he made it home.

The school system says it is investigating and will take steps to make sure it does not happen again.

An Uphill Battle

Runners training for the Boston marathon have an added challenge this year -- endless roads, sidewalks, and trails caked with snow and ice.

Athletes who have committed to the task that few could even think of attempting are now contending with perilous training and inevitable wipeouts.

Quote -- "People were hitting the ground so hard they couldn't get up," one runner said of a recent experience trying to train on black ice. Quote -- "You hear those 'bams!' and you're afraid they've broken something."

Boston has been buried under eight and a half feet of snow this winter and with nowhere to pile it all up runners are forced to dodge cars on narrow streets, or train on treadmills to prepare for next month's race.

A Purr-fect Solution

And finally, a solution to a mouse problem on a tiny Japanese fishing island has morphed into an even bigger problem.

The island is now overrun with feral cats, which outnumber humans six to one.

To make matters worse for the quiet village's residents the cats have a fan club.

Tourists show up every day to see them.

There are no restaurants, shops, or snack bars just cats.

Strict housing laws often forbid keeping cats as pets, so they are a novelty in Japanese culture.

Hence, the popularity of Hello Kitty in that country.

Locals are trying to control the population. So far, they have neutered 10 of the more than 120 cats on that island.