Style Koriyama January Issue 2019
We had an interview about “The Condition of Shelter Cats” in Koriyama.
February 22nd is the Cat’s Day in Japan since “two” in Japanese sounds “ni”, similar to cat’s meow in Japannese, “nyan”.
Cat lovers cannot help but get excited over various cat’s events all over in Japan, and many posted photos and videos of lovely house cats on SNS.
Cat’s Day was set as a special day with the concept “to appreciate a life with a cat (or cats) and enjoy the happiness with him, her, or them”. But how about non-house cats?
So, we interviewed “love.lab”, a shelter cat café operated as a specified non-profit corporation about the recent condition of shelter cats! The shelter cat café, among some in Koriyama city, is actively working to help cats cooperating with Koriyama City Health Center.
♥What are your activities like?
As NPO, love.lab is supporting the system of foster care for cats in Koriyama city. We run a shelter cat café, and help rehoming (lost) cats sheltered in the health center. So far, we have sent about 1,000 cats off to new families. Our activities range from regular cat café work to holding lectures, visiting welfare facilities, and sheltering community cats. We are putting so much energy into those things.
＜What are Casts in the Shelter Cat Café, and how are they doing?＞
Cats in the café are called “Casts”. Some are tamed, while others sometimes behave a bit coldly. When you visit our café, they will keep you company, showing various behaviors.
♥What Are Current Problems?
Because of the cat craze, there are still many thoughtless owners who instantly start having a cat (cats), and abandon him, her, or them easily. In other case, shelter cats cannot be rehomed after their elderly owners pass away. So, if you have one(s), you had better decide where to leave your cat(s), just in case.
Melmo is doing great even without her rear legs.
♥What are the activity plans for the future?
It is to reduce shelter cats. In order to make it happen, people who own cats need to change their minds.
When you offer to foster a cat at the Health Center, you will be required these things to be kept:
“To keep the cat as a complete indoor pet”, “To get him or her spayed”, “Vaccination”, and “To keep all his or her life”. Those are the rules to happily live with cats.
Still, the reality is that many cats get lost, pregnant, and abandoned because of the owners’ egos and their irresponsible way of keeping cats, saying “indoor cats are sad”, “I cannot keep it anymore because I have to move out”, and so on.
♥What can we do?
In some cases, we shelter cats even if it is a bit beyond our capability, but that can be a burden on where the cats are kept. Any animal protection organizations are relying on donations to keep activities going (since they are non-profit making organizations).”
“Just one coin each is enough. It would be so helpful if we could get support from many people.
Sales from the café also become a part of the operating expense, of course. And it would be so grateful if we could have relief supplies, such as cat food, litters, cages, and so on.
In spite of cerebral palsy, Anzu is living a full life.
They say they are looking to open a sheltering facility for cats.
If cats can live happily, that may be an indicator of community maturity. It would be great if Koriyama becomes a better place than it is now, even if it is little by little, for both cats and people to live in. I also hope Koriyama will be famous for its friendliness towards both cats and people!
[ Interviewee for this article]
love.lab, a shelter cat café (Specified Non-profit Corporation)
Address: Nemoto Bld. 102#, 1-28 Shizuka-machi, Koriyama city
Open Hours: 10:30am-7:00pm
Closed Days: Mondays
You can see them at this URL: http://www.love-lab.jp/