Nissan Reminds Us to Check for Sleeping Cats Before Starting the Engine

Nissan Reminds Us to Check for Sleeping Cats Before Starting the Engine 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
About a week ago, Nissan Japan released a short video about saving cats. We watched it but didn't think it was that important. Of course, we are idiots, as anything with cats will get a lot of attention on YouTube.
The campaign sponsored by one of Japan's biggest car companies is called #KnockKnockCats and already has over half a million views. Heck, it sounds even funnier in Japanese: #NekoBanBan. Somehow, we imagine it will have a mascot and a line of toys soon.

Dogs are more common in car commercials because they like to go for walks, but Nissan isn't thinking about this thing from a pet owner's point of view. Cats, especially strays, love to hide in warm spots during winter. These adorable little felines will thus crawl towards the engine compartment. There's nothing we can do about that, but just to make sure there aren't any kittens, Nissan says we should give the hood a couple of knocks and listen for a "meow."

Nissan is being very smart with this campaign. Cat videos are tens of times more popular on YouTube than GT-R's drag racing supercars. People just can't get enough of these cuddly companions, especially the little ones.

Japan has millions of stray cats, to the point where they are considered a problem. There's even a Cat Island, Tashirojima, located off the Pacific coast. The island, home to roughly 20 human residents, is presided over by some 120 cats. Somehow, it makes perfect sense that an island of old fishermen has too many cats. Around 40 cat-loving tourists come to the island every day. However, even if they are taken into account, humans are the minority.

The island nation has numerous old cat shrines called Neko-jinja. In the days of the silk trade, cats were kept because mice are the natural enemy of the silkworms. Their behaviors were sometimes used to predict changes in the wind and weather. So here you have it, now you know why Japan has cats that climb under cars and why Nissan made this cute little video.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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