Every morning at the Onomichi City Museum of Art in Hiroshima, Japan, a charming routine unfolds as the security guard arrives for duty. Welcoming him with mischievous enthusiasm are two lovable feline companions – Ken-chan, the petite black cat, and Go-chan, his playful ginger counterpart. Their shared goal? To slip through the sliding glass doors as the guard opens them and venture inside the museum. Each time, the security guard gently escorts them back outside, amidst a chorus of protesting meows. It’s a heartwarming rivalry that has become a daily tradition, with the cats eventually lounging outside the museum, often alongside their friendly guard. Ken-chan, in particular, has a penchant for following him around and gracefully gliding around his ankles, perhaps in an attempt to persuade him to allow their entry.
What makes this endearing is that this charming routine has persisted for years. The tale began in 2016 when the museum featured an exhibit showcasing cat photography and art, attracting stray cats from the neighborhood who tried to sneak in. Five years later, Ken-chan and Go-chan continue their valiant efforts. However, it appears that their fascination extends not only to the museum but also to the security guard himself, as they typically attempt entry when he is on duty. During other times, they contentedly bask outside the entrance, enjoying the sun and indulging in catnaps.
Ken-chan, who resides in a nearby restaurant, has forged a unique bond with the guard over the years. Every morning, this loyal feline embarks on a journey to the museum, eagerly awaiting his arrival at the entrance. Even during the two-month closure of the museum due to the pandemic, Ken-chan faithfully assumed the guard’s position at the entrance, displaying unwavering loyalty. Their heartwarming companionship resumed when the guard returned, illustrating the depth of their connection.
Today, Ken-chan proudly wears a collar designating him as the museum’s beloved feline mascot. The museum has even introduced cat-themed calendars and card games featuring illustrations inspired by Ken-chan and his companions. Onomichi City Museum frequently shares delightful updates about Ken-chan and Go-chan on their Twitter account, showcasing the enduring charm of this unique friendship. It’s clear that these determined felines have no intention of giving up their quest to enter the museum any time soon.