Introducing Japanese "Wine" for, Uh, Cats

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Today in Japan, bottled wine created especially for cats goes on sale. This is not a joke. Apparently.


Pet supplement company B&H Lifes is rolling out "wine exclusively for cats" that is called "Nyan Nyan Nouveau." In Japanese, "nyan nyan" (ニャンニャン) can refer to a cat's meow as well as people screwing. Here, it refers to cats. "Nouveau" appears to evoke Beaujolais Nouveau, which is quite popular in Japan.

And no, Nyan Nyan Nouveau doesn't have any alcohol in it—much like Japanese "kid's beer" doesn't contain any actual booze. As noted on Sankei Biz, the drink does contain juice made from Cabernet grapes, Vitamin C as well as catnip for a beverage that supposedly tastes like red wine.

B&H Lifes decided to develop the drink for those wanting to celebrate birthdays or Christmas with their beloved cats.

Nyan Nyan Nouveau is priced at 399 yen (US$4) a bottle and is limited to one thousand bottles. And unlike real wine, this doesn't get better with age. B&H Lifes recommends drinking the beverage within a year. Cheers!

日本初!猫専用ワイン「ニャンニャンぬーぼー」10月15日に発売 [Sankei Biz]

Photo: robert_s / Shutterstock

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Curious as to why nyan-nyan could possibly mean sex, I decided to do some research. There was an idol group in the early 80s called Warabe, and one of their three members was a young girl named Tomoko Takabe (高部知子). Takabe was also an actress, and on the set of one of her shows she happened to meet and enter into an affair with a slightly older boy. During one of their trysts he snapped a shot of her in bed, smoking a cigarette, which he later gave to FOCUS, a weekly pictorial magazine. The photo was titled "ベッドで二人仲良くニャンニャンしちゃった後の、一服である," or "Having a smoke in bed together after a friendly meow-meow." The author of the article claims he didn't want to say "sex," so instead he substituted "nyan-nyan" out of a song lyric from one of Warabe's songs. Because of Japan's draconian attitudes about sex, particularly in regard to younger girls, Tanabe was made persona non grata in Japanese showbiz for the picture, and saw both her singing and acting careers vanish basically never to return. For his part, her former lover apparently developed an ulcer from the pressure, and eventually drove into some woods in Ibaraki and suffocated himself on exhaust fumes. It's nice that their memory lives on as an obscure idiomatic expression for fucking, though, eh? Makes it all seem so worthwhile!