Today is Cat Day in Japan, a holiday that has been celebrated since 1987.  The Japanese are amongst the most cat-obsessed nations in the world, with some of the highest per capita rates of cat ownership. They brought us cat cafes, cat-centric architecture and  maintain a cat-friendly island, not to mention Maru, a feline celebrity of such stature that Wired was unable to get an interview despite months of effort. But why today of all days?

Today is written 22/2 in Japan, and the Japanese word for two (“ni”) sounds close enough to the Japanese word for meow (“nyan”), that one could literally say the date as “nyan nyan nyan”, making it “meow meow meow” day.  How is is celebrated? By simply loving and celebrating our feline friends (and posting their cute photos online).