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They are a frequent danger for travelers on the Eastern Road , crossing over the mountains into the Vale. In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Shadowcats have no direct analogue to any real-life species of Big Cat, although they are not quite as remarkable as direwolves. Author George R.

Martin has stated that while Shadowcats are bigger than cougars, they are not as big as tigers. Shadowcats have thick black fur with white stripes.

Shadowcats are apparently not as large as lions either. Lions used to inhabit much of Westeros, particularly the hills of the Westerlands , but they were hunted practically to the point of extinction by humans in recent centuries.

1. A Furry Presence

At one point it is lamented that large animals like direwolves and lions have been pushed out of most of Westeros by human encroachment, which would indicate that Shadowcats aren't as large as lions. Female actors like Takako Irie and Sumiko Suzuki who played the part of the bakeneko became well known as the "bakeneko actresses. During the Edo period — , tales about bakeneko began to appear in essays and kaidan collections in various areas. This bakeneko was protected from arrows and bullets by a chagama ' s lid and an iron pot.

These, like the legend of Susanoo 's extermination of Yamata no Orochi , have a commonality in that the local old families of the area played a role. Cats that were caught drinking lamp oil were also considered to be bakeneko. Cats may have regularly drunk lamp oil because it was derived from fish oil.

The Mythical Bakeneko

The stealing of household objects is commonly associated with many Japanese ghosts, and thus the disappearance of lamp oil when a cat was present helped to associate the cat with the supernatural. One famous bakeneko story is about a man named Takasu Genbei, whose mother's personality changed completely after his pet cat went missing for many years. His mother avoided the company of friends and family and would take her meals alone in her room. When the family peeked in on her, they saw a cat-like monster in the mother's clothes, chewing on animal carcasses.

Takasu, still skeptical, slew what looked like his mother, and after one day his mother's body turned back into his pet cat that had been missing. Takasu then tore up the floorboards of his mother's room to find her skeleton hidden there, her bones gnawed clean of all flesh. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification.

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Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Japanese Ghosts and Demons: Art of the Supernatural. George Braziller.


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Ukiyo-e Cats Get Popular in Japan

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Japanese Grotesqueries. Tuttle Co. Online bibliographical database of supernatural folklore published by the International Research Center for Japanese Studies.

Peep and the Big Wide World: Shadow Play

Morgan S. Japanese folklore. Mythology in popular culture.