We’ll never celebrate Cat Day and Oden Day any other way again.

February 22 in Japan is known for two obscure holidays: Cat Day and Oden Day. “Two” in Japanese can be pronounced two different ways: “ni” and “fu”. With a stretch of imagination, February 22’s “two-two-two” can become “nyan-nyan-nyan”–the sound a cat makes–or “fu-fu-fu”–the sound of blowing air on hot oden. And finally, we’ve found a way to celebrate both obscure holidays at once.

Our Japanese-language reporter Udonko ordered the Odendanyan Cat Oden Kit made by a popular oden filling maker in Aichi Prefecture, Yamasa Chikuwa.

▼ Here’s the company logo.

Udonko spotted this on online marketplace site Rakuten and snatched it up for 2,970 yen (US$19.74). Upon lifting the ultra-cute package, Udonko was surprised by how heavy it was. Her anticipation of its contents rose.

The first thing she pulled out were cat paw-shaped hanpen fish cakes–or “nyanpen”, as this kit calls them. These are soft and fluffy additions to oden that can soak up all of the delicious broth in a hot oden stew.

The next thing she unboxed was even more nyanpen, this time being cat head-shaped.

And after that? Even more nyanpen! Of course the striped tails are necessary in a cat hotpot.

After that? You guessed it–more hanpen. These ones, however, were flower-shaped.

Don’t worry, the kit wasn’t entirely fish cakes. There was also tounyuu-age, a soymilk-based cake that has a fluffy texture similar to hanpen.

Other kit inclusions were konjac, fried dough balls, and chikuwa fish cakes. The packaged liquid was the broth.

▼ All in all, this was shaping up to be a massively filling oden stew.

▼ Just lining up all of the hanpen was enjoyable enough for Udonko.

As far as food prep, the bare minimum you need to do is cut the konjac into bite-sized pieces. Besides that, everything is ready! You can, of course, add more ingredients if you wish. Udonko decided to stick with what the kit had to offer.

Into the pot the cat parts, ingredients, and broth went! Udonko stared at the stew in wonder. No matter what angle she took a picture from…

▼ …they were all…

▼ …totally adorable!

Udonko was so lost in taking photos that she almost forgot to eat the oden. She took her first bite of cat head hanpen, and…

…it was delicious! She wasn’t all that surprised as Yamasa Chikuwa specializes in these fish-based ingredients.

Each hanpen was fairly sizable, so it was easy to fill up on just one or two.

Udonko’s only lament was that it was almost too cute to eat. The texture of the cat paw hanpen in particular was so life-like that she had to remind herself it was only fish cakes.

When she couldn’t handle any more cat hanpen, she was able to balance it out with the other ingredients.

In conclusion, the Odendanyan Cat Oden Kit gets five paws out of five for Udonko! It’s a great winter dish, but it’s especially perfect for February 22. These kits might become even more popular as our beloved convenience store oden stations continue to dwindle, so this will be on our wish list for next year as well!

Photos ©SoraNews24
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