Japan Cat Network

Help! I’ve been mogged!!

As some of you Hyogo folk may have heard, about 3 months ago I acquired a new friend; a little 2 year old kitty called Clio.

Her story began when she was hit by a car and rescued by Japan Cat Network.

Japan Cat Network was founded in 1993 by Susan and David who had been living and working in Japan as English teachers. Through their foundation, Susan and David, along with a small team of volunteers, take care of abandoned, rescued and surrendered animals. They microchip and neuter all the cats ready for their new homes. The foundation also provides shelter and care for many cats who suffer from FIV (feline immunodeficiency disorder), but are no less deserving of a good home and some TLC.

After the disaster of March 2011, the Japan Cat Network set up a secondary shelter in Fukushima to help process the animals rescued from the 20km evacuation zone surrounding the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant. It also provides shelter for those animals whose owners were displaced in the disaster and can no longer provide care for them.

In the aftermath of the disaster and ensuing media storm, the foster family of a cat then called Cleo decided to return to their home country, and so she was once again at the shelter.

It was here she stayed for another 9 months until an ALT with a mouse problem decided she would love to foster a cat for her remaining months.

After finding Japan Cat Network and searching through the available foster cats (they also have some dogs, but these are at the Fukushima shelter) I stumbled across Cleo’s picture; round eyes and full of personality, I knew I had to meet this ‘kitler’. After arranging a suitable time with the shelter, I drove over (the shelter is also a short walk from Inae Station, Shiga) to meet her and we bonded instantly. She was determined to make herself mine; jumping up and sitting on my shoulder for cuddles and purring like crazy. Not wanting to take up too much of the shelter volunteers’ time, we set off back home, only to follow a Renault Clio most of the way home, and thus Cleo became Clio. I had become a victim of her charms.

So after filling out the foster form and being approved as a suitable carer, one of the volunteers at the shelter brought Clio all the way to Sasayama by train to both introduce and simultaneously inspect Clio’s new living environment.

My curious little kitten was almost immediately comfortable in her new home, but some shelter habits remain. For example, she devours her food as if to protect it from the other cats. Having a pet to come home to is lovely, and helped me overcome the worst of my SAD (seasonal affective disorder) in the colder months, and rainy cloudy days. Clio now lets me bathe her and clip her nails without fuss. She also enjoys games of fetch (the joys of being brought up in a house with a dog) and will immediately welcome any visitors to my house with cuddles (and fur). Life has been much happier, and I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity of being responsible for another life form.

Now, sadly, my time with Clio is running short. Due to overly strict quarantine restrictions in Australia and a future apartment that doesn’t allow animals, Clio is looking for a new home, as are many other cats at the Japan Cat Network Shelter. I implore all cat lovers out there who are able to have an animal in their apartment to help out this worthy cause.

While you think about the possibility, please consider:

-        Are you allowed an animal in your apartment?

-        Are you prepared to pay for the veterinary bills should your kitty get sick?

-        Is there someone who can feed your kitty in your stead should you go on holiday?

-        Can you handle a ridiculous amount of cuddle time?

So if you find yourself answering yes to all of the above, jump onto the facebook group, have a look at their homepage, and get in contact with Japan Cat Network! It’s so lovely to have a little someone welcome you come with ‘Meow!’ (this means ‘Okaeri!’ in Cat).


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