International Kitten Cemetery

Traveling through a Japanese movie, we stumbled upon the International Kitten Cemetery outside Kyoto. Its only signage was a small, weathered wooden cat statue on top of a fencepost in someone’s back garden. Kittens of all nations were buried there, with cocktail-toothpick flags marking the little graves nestled among the vegetable rows. A kindly old man was tending the plots on the quiet hillside. Part of his job was to drown the kittens in the stream at the bottom of the hill before burying them. A few mangy cats hung around the graveyard keening for the young ones who died before they learned how to see.