Monday, March 14, 2011

Cat Island Survives Earthquake & Tsunami in Japan

Amid the tragic and heartbreaking stories coming out of Japan in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami, there’s finally a bit of good news… Cat Island, along with its people and multitude of cats, has survived!

Cat Island, known as Tashirojima, is located off the northeast coast of Honshu, Japan’s main island. Because of the island's close proximity to the epicenter of the earthquake, the inhabitants (cats and people) were feared to have been lost. However, via a post on The Conscious Cat from a cat lover with a friend in Japan, we have word that the cats and people are okay! Of course, there was extensive building damage and the need for bare necessities is great…. but at least, Cat Island has prevailed.

On Tashirojima, there are only around 100 people, most of whom are elderly, and they are greatly outnumbered by cats. Cat Island came to be when years ago, the islanders raised silkworms for silk and cats were used to keep the mouse population down. The cat population was subsequently nurtured by fisherman, who interpreted the cats’ actions as predictions of weather and fish patterns. The fishermen even created a shrine for a cat that was killed by a falling rock.

Needless to say, rescue services and humanitarian organizations in Japan are severely overloaded, and much help is needed from the world community. If you would like to make a donation and help the cats and people on Tashirojima (and in other stricken areas of Japan), visit World Vets, an international organization that provides aid to animals worldwide. For a list of other animal-related aid organizations, go to “Animal Rights & Rescue Organizations” under “Links” on The World Is Your Litter Box website.

Special thanks to Ingrid King of The Conscious Cat and Karen Nichols of The Cat’s Meow for conveying the good news about Cat Island.

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