Onomichi is a tranquil, hilly port city in Hiroshima Prefecture. It’s located at the northern entrance of the Nishi Seto Expressway, a system of bridges connecting seven islands from Hiroshima to Ehime Prefecture.

It’s known for the Temple Walk, where many backpack along the network of trails connecting 25 temples.

You can also ride the ropeway up Mt. Senkōji (千光寺山ロープウェイ) to see cherry blossoms in the spring and visit Senkōji Temple.

If you do make your way to Senkōji Ropeway Station, you may find more than just the usual staff and visitors.

Cat Alley

Nearby Senkōji Temple is Neko no Hosomichi 猫の細道, aka Cat Alley. The narrow backstreet path through the local neighborhood is known for its stray cats and various cat sculptures.

annintofu | © Flickr.com

With so many stray cats nearby, it’s no surprise that one decided to settle down at Senkōji Ropeway.

Katsuo, the local cat

Senkōji Ropeway’s official Twitter account (@Senkoji_Ropeway) tweeted this picture of their little visitor.

Reproduced with permission from Senkōji Ropeway (@Senkoji_Ropeway)

The ropeway staff have named him Katsuo.

He sure looks comfortable right? Why would he leave right? The staff even made a little bed for him that reads:

Taking shelter from the rain

But how did this come about? You can find stray cats all over Japan, but they don’t all get elevated to community cat status.

Apparently Katsuo’s frequent visits to the station have caused a bit of trouble.

Reproduced with permission from Senkōji Ropeway (@Senkoji_Ropeway)

Reproduced with permission from Senkōji Ropeway (@Senkoji_Ropeway)

It’s great that Katsuo took the initiative to greet visitors and tried to hand out the free fliers.

But his hygienic needs got in the way and he just had to move the fliers to the ground for a bit…

Long story short, he got the staff’s attention, and got a new home too!

If that wasn’t enough, Katsuo went on to tell his friend how great his new home is and how kind everyone is to him, so his friend decided to see for herself.

Meet Konbu.

Reproduced with permission from Senkōji Ropeway (@Senkoji_Ropeway)

And yes, she got her own home too.

Reproduced with permission from Senkōji Ropeway (@Senkoji_Ropeway)

Well actually it looks like Katsuo upgraded and is subletting his old place.

So if you ever make it out to Senkōji, you might be greeted by the Ropeway’s unlikely residents.

And who knows, there may be even more by the time you go.

By - Mujo.