There once was in a small house, in a small village
 in what is now Fukushima Prefecture a very old cat.
 One day the people in the village saw that the cat had grown two tails!!
 This became the talk of the village,and the people became very disturbed by this event.
 So they decided to drive the cat out of the village by burning chilli peppers in a fire,
 the thick fumes from this fire soon covered the whole village.
 The cat was nearly choked and blinded by these burning fumes.
 And so the cat was driven out of the village,the village people thought it was a pity to do this,
 but they could think of nothing else to do.

 Not long after an old lady came to Kita onsen
 to go to the Menoyu pool to help cure her bad eyesight,
 but she was so poor she had no money to stay at the onsen.
 She said to the owner that she would do any work he asked
 if she could stay there.
 The owner felt sorry for the old lady and let her stay.
 She worked hard from early morning to late at night,
 every day she went to the onsen shrine
 and prayed very hard.
 Soon her sight got better by bathing in the Menoyu pool.
 She continued working at the onsen after getting well.

 Then one day a family with their grandfather came to stay at the onsen,
 taking the baths and eating delicious food.
 Very early one morning their grandfather disappeared,
 when it became light they searched the area around the onsen.
 They found him, dead, in a big tree; he had terrible wounds on his body
 as if a great big cat had scratched him.
 When they saw what had happened to him they shook with fear,
 because no human could have caused such terrible wounds.
 The onsen owner spoke with the family
 and discovered that their grandfather came from the village
 that had so badly treated the cat.
 Later it was discovered that the old lady had disappeared.
 Where had the old lady gone?
 Maybe she had turned into a cat!
 From that day nobody has come to Kita onsen from that village.

 Legend has it that Nekomatta (a two tailed cat) lives in the Ura-Bandai area
 of Fukushima Prefecture.
 There is a ski resort called Nekoma in the Ura-Bandai area.

 This story became known in Kita onsen as the Legend of Neko-bappa.
 In Tohoku-ben (dialect) bappa means obaa-san (grandmother);ogi-san (grandfather) is gi-chi.
 Until now the cats at Kita onsen have not had long tails.
 Also chilli peppers haven't been served with meals here.
 But now we have two long tailed cats called MiMi and Titty.

MiMi is very proud
of her long tail!
If you stroke her
she will never go away

Titty is always somewhere
in the entrance area
She is our Maneki-nekko
(good luck cat)