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Pets of the Week: Follow The Cat World’s Adorable Tandem, Niko and Poko

This cookie pair of exotic shorthair cats from Kanagawa, Japan are Instagram influencers

In Kanji, the word “Niko” means tiger, and “Poko” means poetry.  “Cute” is an understatement to describe this couple of fluff balls from Kanagawa, Japan, a prefecture south of Tokyo, known as a “cat paradise.”  Here, cats can also be registered with ID cards through the pet company Peco.  These bear their names, sex, date of birth, family members’ names and their motto.

In Japanese culture, cats have a special place.  They are valued for bringing good luck and positive vibes.  They are immortalized in the popular figurine called maneki-neko or “beckoning cat.” Dating back to the Edo period (1603-1897), legend says that the Gotokuji Temple was once a shabby little temple with a monk and his cat, Tama as its residents.  They lived in that state until a nobleman, Naotaka, passed by, and saw Tama sitting in front of the temple.  When Tama raised his paw, seeming to wave at the nobleman, he approached the cat, only to realize that a lightning had struck the tree where he was standing.  In effect, the cat saved his life.  This signaled the beginning of good fortune for the monk and the cat, with the nobleman Naotaka’s patronage, bringing them much wealth.  The Gotokuji as it now stands was built on that site after Naotaka’s death.

Perhaps Niko and Poko embody the Japanese reverence for cats.  They are listed in InfluencerWiki as “cat influencers,” and boast of almost 85K followers on Instagram.  They also inspire a line of stickers, phone cases and calendars.  Twinning in different costumes, their photos show them in a constant state of almost-slumber.  Quite enviable, the definitely live to chill!

About the Exotic Shorthair Breed

This breed is only about fifty years old.  Developed by Americans who have introduced the Persian line into the shorthair line, the result is a cat with a sweet disposition who is content to sit on your lap all day, getting all the attention.  They are called “The Lazy Man’s Persian” because of the super low maintenance they require.  Unlike Persians with long hair, the shorthairs have thick coats that are much easier to keep.  Their character is pretty laid back, loyal and friendly, and with the proper care, they can live up to 15 years.