An island in the sun ruled by cats

Xena, a gray-brown tabby, loves other cats and shares her c likes treats,

Xena, a gray-brown tabby, loves other cats and shares her c likes treats,

Imagine my surprise when I found out that there is an island off the coast of Japan ruled by cats. Tashirojima is a small island that has a human population of 100 and a cat population of 600. It seems the island once had 1,000 humans; but as the population dwindled, cats multiplied and have become the primary residents.

The cats are treated like kings and are revered by the locals. They represent luck and good fortune. If you feed and care for them, your luck is doubled. Most of the cats are feral, and it is considered inappropriate to keep them as pets. They are well fed and cared for by the residents.

There many things to see on the island, including the Cat Shrine. The Shrine was built by the fishermen as an apology to the cats. It seems that when fishermen were preparing their nets for fishing, they hit a loose rock that fell on a cat and killed it. They felt so badly that they enshrined the cat. Now when people visit, they leave gifts for the cat enshrined there.

The humans are very protective of the cats. Dogs have been banned from the island to protect the well-being of the cat residents. Visitors can stay on the island in an area called Manga Island. There are special Cat Cabins you can rent and places to camp. The cats usually gather as soon as visitors arrive because lots of people bring treats and toys.

Tashirojima Island gives new meaning to the phrase “cat lady.” There’s a saying that goes “Cats have staff and dogs have owners,” and cat island is a perfect illustration of that.


Xena is a lovely two-year-old domestic shorthaired gray-brown tabby. She is a bit shy but will reward the patient person with purrs. Xena loves other cats and shares her condo with Toots. She likes treats and would really like to meet you to share a treat.

Congratulations to Dot who was Xena’s former roommate for finding her happy-ever-after home! Kudos to Dot’s new parent for making both of your futures brighter.


Vendors for Bark in the Park, May 6. Bark in the Park isn’t just about cats and dogs; we also want vendors who cater to the people. Call Amanda at 775-423-7500.

Volunteers to walk dogs or play with cats. We have enthusiastic dogs and cats just waiting to meet you. Call Rita at 775-423-7500 for details.

Aluminum cans, which we recycle to augment our shelter funds. You can drop them off at CAPS or call and we will pick them up (423-7500).


Our dedicated volunteers: Pauline, Rita, Tim, Diane, Vivian, Celia, Samantha, Makyla, Raul, Stacey, Cole, Larisa, Tom and Max. Your help and support keep our no-kill shelter running smoothly. You are a gift to all the guests, and they love you. A Four Paws Salute to you!


CAPS will be at Walmart on April 16 with our Kissin’ Booth and an eager smooching pooch. Come by to get your smooch. We will also have caps, long-sleeved T-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts, so please check them out after you have been smooched.


March Pet Holidays:

National Puppy Day was March 23.

To mark your calendar for Bark in the Park that will be held on Saturday, May 6.

Flower Tree Nursery will be raffling a 20-gallon tree of your choice on June 15, and the winner doesn’t have to be present to win. The raffle tickets are available at Flower Tree, and they are $1 for one ticket and $5 for six tickets.


CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, NV 89406. CAPS’ phone number is 775-423-7500. CAPS’ email address is Please visit the CAPS website ( and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to “Like” CAPS on Facebook because we are really likable.

Do you have questions, comments or a great story? Contact me

Kathleen Williams-Miller, a CAPS volunteer, contributed this week’s column.


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