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Watch: Neighbourhood cat cafes become old news as Japan tries out its first cat cafe on a train

A new setting to shoot cat videos.

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Japan has a cat population of about 9.8 million, of which an astounding number are strays. Thousands of stray kittens are euthanised every year, but with the Japanese adopting them in large numbers, the number of culled cats has plummeted from 238,929 in 2004 to 45,574 in 2016.

To encourage people to adopt or take care of the stray population, Yoro Railways and Kitten Cafe Sanctuary operated a very special train on September 10, in the Gifu and Mie Prefectures, with 30 rescued kittens. The train ran between Ogaki and Ikeno Stations, with seats for 40 passengers, who could play with the adorable kittens.

Predictably, the tickets were sold out within a day as cat lovers rushed for the opportunity of spending two and a half hours on a train ride with 30 kittens. The furry felines roamed freely across the train while passengers cuddled and played with them. A portion of the $27 fare, which included food, sweets and unlimited travel on Yoro Railways for the day, was donated to the Sanctuary’s rescue programmes, and all 30 kittens, who were previously slated to be put down, were adopted.

Though it was a special one-day event, cat lovers across the world are pushing to make the cat cafe train a regular affair.

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Bringing your parents into the digital fold can be a rewarding experience

Contrary to popular sentiment, being the tech support for your parents might be a great use of your time and theirs.

If you look up ‘Parents vs technology’, you’ll be showered with a barrage of hilariously adorable and relatable memes. Half the hilarity of these memes sprouts from their familiarity as most of us have found ourselves in similar troubleshooting situations. Helping a parent understand and operate technology can be trying. However, as you sit, exasperated, deleting the gazillion empty folders that your mum has accidentally made, you might be losing out on an opportunity to enrich her life.

After the advent of technology in our everyday personal and work lives, parents have tried to embrace the brand-new ways to work and communicate with a bit of help from us, the digital natives. And while they successfully send Whatsapp messages and make video calls, a tremendous amount of unfulfilled potential has fallen through the presumptuous gap that lies between their ambition and our understanding of their technological needs.

When Priyanka Gothi’s mother retired after 35 years of being a teacher, Priyanka decided to create a first of its kind marketplace that would leverage the experience and potential of retirees by providing them with flexible job opportunities. Her Hong Kong based novel venture, Retired, Not Out is reimagining retirement by creating a channel through which the senior generation can continue to contribute to the society.

Our belief is that tech is highly learnable. And learning doesn’t stop when you graduate from school. That is why we have designed specific programmes for seniors to embrace technology to aid their personal and professional goals.

— Priyanka Gothi, Founder & CEO, Retired Not Out

Ideas like Retired Not Out promote inclusiveness and help instil confidence in a generation that has not grown up with technology. A positive change in our parent’s lives can be created if we flip the perspective on the time spent helping them operate a laptop and view it as an exercise in empowerment. For instance, by becoming proficient in Microsoft Excel, a senior with 25 years of experience in finance, could continue to work part time as a Finance Manager. Similarly, parents can run consultation blogs or augment their hobbies and continue to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Advocating the same message, Lenovo’s new web-film captures the void that retirement creates in a person’s life, one that can be filled by, as Lenovo puts it, gifting them a future.

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Depending on the role technology plays, it can either leave the senior generation behind or it can enable them to lead an ambitious and productive life. This festive season, give this a thought as you spend time with family.

To make one of Lenovo’s laptops a part of the family, see here.

This article was produced on behalf of Lenovo by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.