Friday, April 1, 2011

Feline Fridays-Cat Island in Japan

Among stories of leaking nuclear reactors, radioactive milk, huge death tolls and other tragedies in the wake of the Japanese Tsunami and Earthquakes it's nice to read something uplifting.  Talk all over the internet the past couple of weeks, by various animal lovers who were worried about the animal devastation,  brought up a place I had yet to hear about- Cat Island.

Tashirojima Island, a small island off the coast of Japan was historically a silk producer, and cats were brought in to control the rodents who were the silk worms natural predator.  One thing led to another, as we all know it can when there's a cute kitty involved and long after the island shifted from silk production to fishing the kitties not only survived but thrived.  Over the years they've been revered as bringing luck to the island, and have not only had a shrine built for them but have been so protected that dogs aren't even allowed on Tashirojima!  They now wildly out number the human population of only about 100 or so mostly elderly folks still living there.

During the recent devastation, communication with the island wasn't possible for some time and it was believed nobody had survived.  Apparently the cats protection was greatly underestimated, as the island and it's residents are all safe and sound, though in need of emergency supplies due to being cut off from the main land from the debris in the water surrounding them.  The Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support (JEARS) organization announced recently : 
“Just to give everyone an update on Tashirojima, the cat island. The people and cats are safe but short of food. A volunteer looked into transporting food by boat, but there is too much debris in the water. A helicopter is the only way. The army will probably get a helicopter ready soon so we are looking into the possibility of asking them to take cat food too.”
So if you're like me, and animals are your where your charitable money tends to go, then consider sending some help to JEARS.  Check out their facebook page, and their webpage to see how you can help.  And of course, once things get cleared up for business again, consider adding Cat Island to your list of world holiday destinations.

Read more about this on:
Discovery News
Oddity Central


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