Vampire Cats

This traditional Japanese print is old enough that it is in the public domain. It shows the vampire cat of Nabeshima killing the girlfriend of the prince of Hizen. The Japanese believed in a certain variety of shapeshifting demon that appeared as a cat. This cat often had two tails, and sometimes it could change size, growing from an ordinary house cat until it became larger than a person. It was like a vampire, in that its main purpose seemed to be sucking blood from humans and killing them. After a vampire cat had killed someone, it would be able to transform into an exact copy of that person. It would use this ability to get close to new victims, who would not suspect until it was too late to save themselves.

Go to the Library
Find out more about Japanese vampire cats by reading pages 90-92 of the book Half Human, Half Animal: Tales of Werewolves and Related Creatures by Jamie Hall.

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