Theo, a Cat with an Uncanny Talent


Theo (the cat) & Shinji Kasahara, researcher at University of Washington, hip-hop dancer/instructor

They say men are unlikely to get attached to cats. They also say that black cats are one of the least adoptable pets at the shelter in the United States. But these stereotypes did not stop Shinji Kasahara, a Japanese PhD student at the University of Washington in Seattle from showing the world how much he adores his lovely black cat, Theo, who has an uncanny talent.

Theo is no ordinary cat. It seems that fate has connected the two together. When Shinji was visiting the Seattle Animal Shelter back in 2007, an one-year-old black kitty came up to him from the cage and started a heart-felt conversation with him right off the bat. Shinji was very intrigued so he removed the kitty from the cage and placed him on his lap. It was like love at first sight, Theo started kissing and nuzzling this man that he only met for the first time. It was as if Theo had decided that Shinji should be the one to take him home. And so he did.

Theo is quite a chatterbox. He talks about everything and anything. Six months after he moved into his new home, Shinji started to realize that he began to understand some of the ramblings that came from Theo’s tiny little mouth. Later, it became so clear to him that they were able to carry deeper and longer conversations together. Theo had picked up many words in Japanese. It was something that Shinji had never seen before.

When Shinji gets up in the morning, Theo comes over, rubs his head against him and says “Ohayou” which means “good morning.” When Shinji gets home from school, the little black furry greets him by saying “Okaeri” which translates into “welcome back.” If Theo is in a good mood, he adds “futari-no-jikan” which means “it’s time for two of us.” However, if Shinji does not return home on time, it puts Theo in a bad mood and he is not shy about voicing it. He wears his heart on his sleeve and calls Shinji a “baka-yarou” which means “idoit.”

Shinji was so impressed by Theo. He decided to blog about it and make YouTube videos to document Theo’s life. What this led to was something that Shinji had never expected.

Just one year after sharing his stories about his beloved cat on the Internet, many Japanese TV shows contacted him, wanting to feature Theo on their programs. Theo became an overnight sensation and instantly gained tens of thousands of fans from Japan.

But to Shinji, Theo is his best friend and the love of his life.

“There is so much joy living with him and sharing his pictures and videos with others,” said Shinji.

From a woman’s perspective, I believe that real men love cats. As a cat lover, I think black cats are absolutely gorgeous and they have that extra something that makes them special.

cute black cat shio neko Theo speaking cat

cute black cat shio neko Theo speaking cat

cute black cat shio neko Theo speaking cat

cute black cat shio neko Theo speaking cat

cute black cat shio neko Theo speaking cat

cute black cat shio neko Theo speaking cat

cute black cat shio neko Theo speaking cat

cute black cat shio neko speaking cat

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54 Responses to “Theo, a Cat with an Uncanny Talent”

  1. Sheri says:

    What an absolutely beautiful cat!! Those eyes are mesmerizing!

  2. jill says:

    i love it, Theo is beautiful and must be a joy to have (work for)!! those are the same lovely sounds ruby makes! i need a better camera to film her!

  3. Dee says:

    Aww…love the last pic…the paw and the hand!!! Soooo cute!! I love Theo already!!!

  4. Pamela says:

    What a smart kitty cat!! Very sweet!!!!

  5. I thought my black cat, Jack, talked alot. I think that cat has him beat!!! lol VERY CUTE!!!

  6. Esme says:

    What a beautiful cat.

  7. Momo says:

    Thankyou for sharing the story. Theo is gorgeous. Maybe it's a certain intuition that bonds women and cats. The men that I know who love cats have a special illusive, undefinable quality about them.

  8. haru says:

    I really love Theo, and I can see that Shinji loves Theo, which makes me very happy!

  9. Azreen says:

    I can't wait to show this to my husband when he gets back! And also to his friends who are coming this weekend! LOL! It's just too cute!! ありがとう for posting this Amy :))

  10. lovemeow says:

    You are soo welcome :). I LOVE Theo!

  11. ihavecat says:

    i LOVE this article! such amazing pictures too!!!!!!!!!!
    I AGREE with you on the men who love cats…in fact, I wrote a blog post about it!! :)

  12. Rochelle♥ says:

    I love the way Theo speaks! ありがとう Amy for having post this talent!

  13. だいちゃん says:

    しおちゃん、しんコロさん【Love Meow】に詳しく紹介されておめでとうございます。グローバルしおちゃん♪

  14. Marg says:

    Black cats are our favorite too. What a great thing, to have a cat that speaks Japanese. That is so great. And now he is famous. Terrific. Have a great day.

  15. Fuzzy Tales says:

    Wow, Theo is just gorgeous. Those eyes are amazing. And Shinji is a good photographer!

  16. saucyinterloper says:

    oh my god, theo is so funny and adorable!

  17. khim says:

    oh this cat speak japanese!

  18. さすがしおちゃん!


    英文、ほとんど意味不デス…ww( ̄▽ ̄)




    NYASAゎどーですかァ???( ´ ▽ ` )ノ

  19. はなママ says:



  20. Siku Marie says:

    What a beauty! And I totally understand what complete conversations with Siku, my Eskie, over a whole variety of topics. She is a very opinionated girl. I am a complete believe that we can talk to our animals.

  21. balflear Flow says:


  22. Cory says:

    I love this story!

  23. awww that is so sweet i can tell he really loves that cat that is the cutest i love that cat speaking Japanese i believe cats are smarter than people give them credit for.

  24. Boom says:

    oooh I love him! how beautiful! their relationship is beyond words! what a lucky pair to have found each other <3

  25. こまお says:


  26. @Lisa7503 says:

    Too cute this lovely black cat… :-))))))

  27. Sharon says:

    Theo is a gorgeous black cat! I love a vocal cat! I have one that shares his views with me all the time. A great match made in heaven.

  28. Maude Duncan says:

    He’s gorgeous!! I have a black cat that picked me too. It was love at first bite, I had to go on intravienous antibiotics when she bit me . Then she had 8 kittens making me the Octograndma. She is the smartest cat I’ve ever met. She has taken over and is now ruling the house of 3 dogs and 3 other cats. I’m so glad she found me.

  29. Cliff says:

    I guess my imagination isn't vivid enough, but those sound like regular cat meows to me. I've had cats for 53 years, so I know meows, and I've never heard anything that sounded like a human word.

    • Positive says:

      if you understand Japanese, you know that sounds awfully close the word Okaari which means welcome home. And a few others are good too. Cats are wonderful. why not believe that they can speak some of our language. It's a wonderful thing. it makes people happy.

  30. Jennifer says:

    Such pretty eyes!!

  31. RLS says:

    What a wonderful story and gorgeous black kitty! As a guy with a black cat of my own, I could relate. My Saffire is 16 yrs old and my constant companion. I adopted her as a rescue at 6 mos. and we have a great bond, a relationship that is always rewarding and evolving, and she is quite a conversationalist as well.

  32. AskFisher says:

    Beautiful photography to go along with such a beautiful relationship. I love the hand to paw connection in the last photo. That really says it all.

  33. Lakshmie says:

    "black cats are absolutely gorgeous and they have that extra something that makes them special "…………………. I totally agree with that. I also think that they are more sentimental than others. This Theo…., he's stunning!!

  34. Flavia Carreon says:

    This story reminds me of my black cat and how my tabby and I picked each other at the shelter. Love at first sight.

  35. A.Rahne says:

    I adore his surprised look!

  36. joan teitelman says:

    So……from what I just heard…I guess my cats speak Japanese. And I thought they were Jewish! LOL! Theo's a beauty.

  37. mooma says:

    SOOOOOOOOOO cute! i luv blak catz too! i hav 1 misty i call her misty moo moo shes 1 and has a twin bro called curk i call him curligan hes pitch white!!! ;p ;p ;i ;p

  38. Jill says:

    Your Theo is adorable. I have an all black cat too, and also very talkative and sweet. Love your photos! Gotta love men that love cats too!

  39. Loretta says:

    What an entertaining cat to have as company! Does anybody know what breed Theo is?

  40. Helia Alves says:

    I wish i could have a cat like Theo :-)

  41. Grand says:

    I understood Theo to answer "I don't know" to one your questions. So cute.

  42. Tiziana says:

    What a wonderful cat!!!!

    It see that you live and worship in harmony!

    Beautiful! Lovely! <3

  43. AnaK says:

    i have 5 black cats and i love all of them

  44. Angela says:

    What a gorgeous kitty! I love him!

  45. Linda says:

    Black cats are a favorite of mine also! Love this! Thanks for posting.

  46. C says:

    He is so cute!!

  47. memmem says:

    What a chatty kitty! I love it!

  48. Lynn says:

    awwwww … I LoVe Theo … I had a black kitty too … but … she thought she was a dog! lol

  49. KellyAnne says:

    As a black cat owner/lover, I think they're so compact and elegant. And I appreciate a man being able to own his feline side–my dad is the biggest cat lover I've ever met, and he's Mr. Testosterone. He keeps a low profile among his dog-lover friends, but nothing makes him happy like the cats!

  50. Karen says:

    I wonder if our cats are related. I adopted Toki from the Vancouver SPCA around the same time. She looks, acts and sounds exactly the same as Theo.

  51. Mimi says:

    aww..the last's too precious!! love it! :D

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