Cat in Japan

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“I have lived with several Zen masters — all of them cats.”
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Yes, I’m a crazy cat lady. I grew up surrounded by cats and dogs since I was born, so I guess I can blame my parents for this obsession with cats. I remember all of them, and there are no words to describe the crazy love that I feel for them. I’ve been living in Japan for the past fourteen years, and I adopted a cat just last year. Yes, I spent almost thirteen years without a pet, and I could tell something was missing in my life. People who know me also know how much I wanted to have a cat, but I didn’t because I couldn’t. Here in Japan, most of the apartments don’t allow pets. Either you live in a house, or you rent an apartment which allows them. Usually, it is a little more expensive, so you gotta have extra money to spend on renting it. My boyfriend and I had a hard time looking for a nice place to live with our future cat, and I’m almost sure we looked at every real state agency. But the apartments didn’t work out, or they were too small, or too far from our workplace, or too expensive. I remember that there were lots of time that I just gave up and I’d cry and cry. Weeks later, my boyfriend showed me on the Internet one apartment that was available and he thought it was perfect. Surprisingly, I agreed. We went to the real state office that was responsible for that specific apartment, and one week later, we were filling all the paperwork that was necessary. I must be honest, it wasn’t cheap, but it was definitely worth it. One month later, we were moving to our new place, and we couldn’t be happier! But there was something still missing: our cat. I remember looking for a cat that I would look at it and say: it’s him/her. I didn’t want to buy one, because it’s rather expensive and I always wanted to adopt since there are a lot of stray cats here needing a forever home. There is a particular organization that interested me a lot. Japan Cat Network is a non-profit organization that helps pets to find a loving home. I didn’t contact them but I’ve been following their work for quite some time, and I think it’s fantastic. Their website is https://japancatnetwork.org, and they also have a facebook page under the same name, Japan Cat Network. Taking a look at the organization’s work is worth. I hope I’ll have the opportunity to visit their shelter someday. Anyway, in December of 2017, I was scrolling down some posts in a group on facebook, and I saw a woman donating a kitten. When I saw the picture, I instantly fell in love and knew that that baby belonged to my family. I immediately contacted the woman, and one week later, my husband and I brought our new son home. My husband chose his name, To-chan, and the first thing we did when we got back home, was to take him to the vet to take the shots and neuter him. The vet also put a chip on him when he was being neutered. When To-chan arrived here, he was three months old. Thin with a big head and big ears. Today, he is a handsome boy weighing six kilos. He is my life, and I love him more than anything in this world. I was afraid at first because it’s not easy to take care of a little being who depends entirely on you. And until today, I still wake up in the middle of the night with him meowing, asking for my lap. He was the something that was missing, and now I feel that my family is complete. Of course, my husband and I intend to have kids in the future, but I must say that I’m feeling relieved because I know they are going to grow in an environment surrounded by pets, just like I did. And I know how amazing that is. Having a pet is wonderful, but it’s also a lot of responsibilities. It’s not that expensive unless something happens to the pet and it needs to have a bigger care in the veterinary, otherwise, the shots, the neuter, the chip, the food and the sand for the toilet box are affordable. But having a pet who loves you unconditionally doesn’t have a price. It’s the best feeling in the universe, and it’s totally worth it. Even my husband who wasn’t a cat person, today, spoils our cat more than I do. 🙂

https://www.pitat.com ピタツトハウス This is the real state agency that I rented my apartment from. But if you don’t find any place that you don’t like on this one, you can always search at the others.

https://www.iwatsukianimalclinic.com This is one of the veterinarians that I take my cat to. He is very good and I recommend him! But I also recommend another one, https://www.saito-animalhospital.jp The veterinarian is also excellent!

Anyway, feel free to follow To-chan’s page on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/tochan_neko/

And just to be clear, I decided to adopt a cat instead of buying one because there are a lot of fluffy babies on shelters waiting for a family. But I’m definitely not against buying a pet, because at the end, they are all in the same place. All of them, inside the pet store, inside the shelter or outside, in the streets, need and deserve a place to live, with a loving and caring family.

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Rosanna M.I.

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