Tashirojima, Miyagi’s famous “cat island,” is in trouble. Although most of the cats survived the March 11th earthquake and tsunami, it inflicted heavy damage on the small community. The livelihood of the islander’s residents is at risk:
Local residents say islanders began keeping cats to get rid of mice when the silk industry was thriving on Tashirojima. A local shrine is even named Neko Jinja (cat shrine). A few years ago, a Tokyo-based TV station featured Tashirojima in a program, and the island has been well-known for its unique population ever since.
The community is in a precarious state, as about 80 percent of its residents are 65 years old or older, but the tourist trade is thriving–about 3,200 visitors came in 2008 but nearly 12,300 came last year.
The island’s fishermen have not been able to work since the disaster. Since the cats were usually fed with tiny fish from their catches, they now have to rely on cat food donations. The situation prompted Hama and other islanders to ponder how they could collect funds to both rebuild the fishing industry and keep their furry friends fed.
In their plan, which focuses on the nation’s cat-lovers, people can become owners of oysters and other marine products the island produces in exchange for aid money. Donations are accepted in 10,000 yen lots, and Hama and his fellows aim to collect 150 million yen. Contributors will receive oysters and cat-related goods from the shrine. The cats will also be featured in a blog.
Tag Archives: Cats
CHAMPAIGN, lll. — Researchers (and some cat-owners) wanted to know: What do feral and free-roaming house cats do when they’re out of sight? A two-year study offers a first look at the daily lives of these feline paupers and princes, whose territories overlap on the urban, suburban, rural and agricultural edges of many towns.
The study used radio telemetry and a sophisticated activity-tracking device to capture the haunts and habits of dozens of owned and un-owned cats living at the southern edge of Champaign and Urbana, neighboring cities in Central Illinois. Together, the 42 adult cats originally radio-tracked for the study ranged over a territory of 2,544 hectares (6,286 acres).
Of the radio transmitters used in the study, 23 had tilt and vibration sensors that tracked the animals’ every move.
“There’s no (other) data set like this for cats,” said Jeff Horn, a former graduate student in the University of Illinois department of natural resources and environmental sciences who conducted the study for his master’s thesis with researchers from his department and the Prairie Research Institute at Illinois. “Without these sensors, it would require a field team of 10 to 12 people to collect that data.”
As expected, in most cases the un-owned cats had larger territories than the pet cats and were more active throughout the year. But the size of some of the feral cats’ home ranges surprised even the researchers.
Wow! I hope you can save and print! Chaco’s going to be very excited when he gets his new game!
Tue, May 3, 2011
The creative team over at Little Hiccup has done it again. They’ve found another way to get you to turn over your expensive new gadget to your cat. They just launched Paint for Cats, an iPad app designed just for cats. You choose the color palette and let kitty do the work! Watch as she chases the mouse around the screen, creating an original work of art.
I know, I know, you’re thinking “What? You want me to let my cat do what?” I asked TJ over at Hiccup how he addresses that issue, and he told me that most cats do not use their claws when they play the game. Cats seem to know that they can’t sink their claws into the glass, which probably wouldn’t scratch with a cat’s claw any more easily than it would with your finger nail, however, they do recommend using a screen protector just to be safe.
I don’t have an iPad, but this makes me want one so I can print out my furkids’ artwork and put it on the fridge. Download the game for $1.99 over at PaintForCats.com.
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I downloaded this over Easter, and my Cornish Rex, Duncan, really loved it! We also have the “Game for Cat” for the iPad. My other cats aren’t quite as excited about it as Duncan, but they still make some pretty cool artwork! Here’s a funny video of Duncan playing it on my iPad. (Make sure you have a screen protector!
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I think this is cute. I don’t know that I’d buy one, but it’s cute.