"What a surprising spot for a cat!"

Such was the caption on a video posted by Japanese TikTok user まるのすけ marunosuke (marunosuke07), who was visiting the Senagajima Ryugu Shrine 瀬長島竜宮社 in Senagajima, Okinawa, earlier this month.

@marunosuke07 #野良猫 #沖縄 ♬ BGM with a cute atmosphere(819050) - Kobaken Film

There was a stray cat snuggled in the heart of the shrine, sleeping peacefully as if it was the most natural thing in the world!

It must have been a very comfortable spot.

The Senagajima Ryugu Shrine built on the tiny island of Senagajima, just 15 minutes from Naha Airport, is dedicated to Ryujin, the Dragon God, and god of the ocean, as well as other regional gods, but none of them are feline.

In some parts of Japan, cats are enshrined as deities. For example, there's the Neko (cat) Shrine 猫神社 in Kagoshima Prefecture, and the Hakkaisan Son Shrine Satomiya 八海山尊神社里宮 in Niigata Prefecture also worships cats. In ancient times when they were first imported from China, cats helped Japanese farmers drive away rats that ravaged crops and silkworms vital for silk production, which explained why they were venerated. Perhaps this lucky cat did something to deserve divine status, if only for a brief moment.

Many viewers shared similar sentiments, leaving comments such as:

  • "It's a Cat God!"
  • "I want to present an offering in the form of a snack."

By - grape Japan editorial staff.