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"Meow fund" helps Japan's Cat Island

03-14-2012 10:49 BJT Special Report:Japan: One Year After Quake and Tsunami |

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In Japan, the island of Tashiro is still recovering from the devastating earthquake and tsunami a year ago. But thanks to the local cat population, people from across the country have been donating to a special fund to help those living there.

Known locally as "Cat Island," Tashiro is home to twice as many felines as humans. This may sound surprising but it makes perfect sense as the main industry here is fishing and oyster farming.

Miraculously just one person was declared missing after the disaster from a population of sixty.

But everyone was deeply affected by the catastrophe.

Fishing resumed here as early as last July.

The Tashiro islanders have lived alongside cats for as long as they can remember.

Over the years, the cats have become a good luck charm and the focus of a shrine on the island.

Known locally as "Cat Island," Tashiro is home to twice as many felines as humans.

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami, people from across Japan were moved by the story of 'Cat Island' and donated millions of yen to the islanders. The fund is lovingly called the "The Meow Project".

Yutaka Hama, Tashiro Islander, said, "We support each other here in this island but most of all, we're grateful to the cats and to the people who have supported us from afar. People's thoughts were very heartwarming."

On top of the hill of Tashiro island, cat-shaped lodges overlook the Sea of Japan where a year ago huge waves had soaked the coasts and islands of the area.

The cat lodge will re-open in May.

The "meow" fund donations remain untouched as residents have yet to decide what to do with the money and how to spread it out.

Known locally as "Cat Island," Tashiro is home to twice as many felines as humans.



Editor:Liu Fang |Source: CNTV.CN

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