Rescuing kittens in Japan

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balto13
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Rescuing kittens in Japan

Post by balto13 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:59 am

There are a lot of street cats in Japan. At least in the prefecture that I live in, and its hard for me to see such cute kittens living and or eating in dumpsters, bamboo forests, and just walking around in ally streets. My husband and I finally (after rescuing the first three kittens) found a place who sold live traps and purchased one :)

Meet Barnaby and Gizmo, litter mates. These are the first two kittens we rescued in Japan, and just a few minutes from our house. Jesse (my husband) and I were walking home from an Indian restaurant and a small, skinny cat ran across the ally. I felt so bad because, by size, the cat seemed so small and dirty. My husband walked to the vending machine it was hiding behind and offered his hand, the cat smelled it, and ran back across the ally to an apartment complex garbage pile (equivalent to a dumpster, just not IN an actual dumpster) :cry: it was late, we didn't have flashlights and there is a legal curfew for army men of a certain rank and below in Japan - so we had to go home.

A few days later and we were going home from dinner (using the same ally way) and saw the cat near the garbage pile, once again, my husband got on his knees and offered his hand. Same reaction, cat smelled and ran away. Except, this time we both sat to watch and before the cat disappeared into the garbage pile a litter of kittens came running out to great the cat!! We were both horrified and decided that we had to do everything we could to try and catch them.

the next day my friend and I "armed" ourselves with a cat carrier, cat gloves, tuna fish, chicken, and wet food. We rigged the cat carrier so we could pull on a rope and close the gate - we were determined! :twisted: Jesse would have came but I told him to let us handle it, ironically, after 3 hours of us waiting for them to go into the carrier I call him to see if he would bring more bait (they were only going for tuna)... he arrived with tuna and wouldn't you know it, he stood next to the carrier with the tuna in it and about 15 minutes ,of him standing as still as a statue, caught two in the carrier :lol: :lol: Barnaby and our dog loved each other instantly, she took to bathing him and he would curl up next to her and purr - Gizmo hates her with every adorable, kitten fiber of his body :lol: ... unfortunately, not too short after catching those two there was some construction on the ally and we haven't seen the kittens or mom since :cry: we still check every time we pass the garbage pile - we suspect the construction so close to her "nest" freaked her out and she relocated the kittens *sigh*


This is the garbage pile we caught them in

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this is them their first night home at 6-7 weeks old :) the one with the pink nose (left) is Barnaby, and the one with the black on his nose is Gizmo (right)

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Barnaby

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Gizmo

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The two of them sleeping in their snail toy/cat scratch ... thingy :lol:


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Here are some more recent - a couple months after their capture - pictures of the "twins". Unfortunately, now that they are tamer they LOVE the camera ,whether it be my Iphone or Nikkon, their instant reaction is to run up to the lens and smell it :lol: :roll: so their recent pictures aren't as good :oops: and this one I forgot the flash was on :lol: :oops:


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Barnaby looks so serious but he is the goofiest, fun loving kitten out of all of them :lol:

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once Jesse told one co -worker about our adventure it spread like wildfire at the clinic he works at :lol: and a Japanese nurse approached him about us helping her catch some kittens near her house :) so far we have only caught 2 of the 4 that we have seen. One Tuxedo kitten named Jungle, and recently his sister a panda cat named Akiko. We caught Jungle the old fashion, classical cartoon way - tuna can under a box and pushing the box down when he went under :lol: Akiko we used the live trap on :)

This is the forest that they lived in near his co workers house

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this is Jungle his first night with us. He is wearing a harness because we didn't want to introduce him to "the twins" his first night in the house, but he was yowling when in alone in a separate room. So we got him a harness and he slept with us :) I was so excited that night I didn't sleep so I was able to untangle him if he ever did an alligator "death roll" :)

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this is him a couple weeks later

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this is when we introduced him to Gizmo. We decided to let him and Gizmo become friends first because Barnaby was way more confident and was telling Jungle to kick rocks every time Jungle was even in the room :roll: and Gizmo wasn't as offended by his presence. As you can tell Gizmo took to him :)

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a few days ago we caught Jungles sister, Akiko, and boy is she a pistol! :lol: her first night was the worst out of all of them and we couldn't sleep with her or really interact with her. My husband has been catching her with a towel and we both spend time petting her and voilà she has came around quite nicely - still hisses every now and then, but nothing a little wet food won't cure ;)

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Now, all the kittens can nap and play together - the boys still sleep in a separate room than Akiko (until everybody is fixed) at night or when we leave the house.

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.... Barnaby is still the only kitten who loves Luna

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I would feel bad for her but she apparently can't take a hint or doesn't grasp kitten body language :roll: She usually approaches them wanting to bathe them, and if they hiss she play bows and "woo woo"'s or yips - every now and then she will offer a paw, to which all the kittens but Barnaby growl at :lol: Lucky for me she is always incredibly gentle, even when trying to play, so most the time they will end up ignoring her :lol:


all the kittens have harnesses and are used to them, but only wear them when in the living room because our house is kind of big and they all hide under the couch - we were told it's because they aren't comfortable with the house yet - every now and then we take the leash off and see how they do. Barnaby and Jungle are much more comfortable than Gizmo or Akiko. I will keep everybody updated as they all finish up their vaccinations, get microchiped, fixed and re homed :)

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Re: Rescuing kittens in Japan

Post by Booma » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:35 pm

<3 gizmo <3<3<3<3<3
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Re: Rescuing kittens in Japan

Post by firleymj » Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:45 pm

Then I shall rather think more of Barnaby and his taste in friends!

Thank you for what you are doing!
As much as I love my Tamaskan, I'm still fostering tortoises
Taking on this bunch requires a lot of love and commitment
THANK YOU!
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Re: Rescuing kittens in Japan

Post by HiTenshi16 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:10 pm

You two are so great for what you are doing :)
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Re: Rescuing kittens in Japan

Post by Sylvaen » Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:14 pm

Keep up the great work!! The kittens all look great now, really happy and healthy. :D
It was nice to follow their story and see all the photos - I'm already looking forward to more updates... :)
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Re: Rescuing kittens in Japan

Post by TParham86 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:19 pm

Great job! It's so awesome to read stories like these! Your doing such a wonderful thing with saving those kitties lives! :D :D I look forward to more updates.

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Re: Rescuing kittens in Japan

Post by Karen » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:23 am

Love the saying " kick some rocks" :lol:

Good work! Lovely cats! Hope you can get them all to be really tame
So, what is more people ask you to catch some kittens? ;)

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Re: Rescuing kittens in Japan

Post by Tatzel » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:15 pm

They're adoreable! Glad they found a home at your place! :D
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Re: Rescuing kittens in Japan

Post by Lynwae » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:25 am

That's awesome! :D

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Re: Rescuing kittens in Japan

Post by CSpiker86 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:32 am

Awesome!! :D I love what your doing for the kitties
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Re: Rescuing kittens in Japan

Post by balto13 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:51 am

Couple sad updates:

Tried to rehome Jungle - twice. One applicant didn't get passed coming to my house and meeting the kittens before we denied his application. Another lady got passed the application, met the kittens, and we set her up with a care package :D I warned her he'd be hard work, he needed time to adjust being alone, and she would need to be pretty consistent and not afraid of him because when we initially first got him he'd try to run up walls, hiss and yowl. Roughly 5~10 minutes in a towel with head scratches and he was butter, then he turned to butter. With in a week he was eating wet food out of our hand and almost a total house cat :D I told her all of that and she said "I am the most patient women in the world! I love him already!".

The next morning when I woke up I saw that I had many texts. First text at 2 am read "I know this is a weird question, but, do you smoke?", then a bunch following at 5:30 am "this cat is a maniac! what is wrong with him?!" , "OMG! he won't stop mewing!", Lastly "Could you please come pick up this kitten? I was so stressed from his mewing I lit up a cigarettes and ever since he has turned into the devil spawn. My husband and I are avid smokers and this kitten bites me when I try to pick him up. I am sorry. I can't handle this". I woke up at 5:50 am, saw the texts and drove over to pick him up. He reeked of cigarettes and was pretty stressed. He is still pretty unsure of the house and mews a lot more, but is calming down :(


Yesterday at 3 pm lady found a kitten while she was tending to her garden. After keeping him for a day (feeding him cows milk from the grocery store) she decided to reach out for help (Today). I picked the kitten up from her and he was a little lethargic, but my husband noticed he still had the umbilical cord and it still looked "newish" so we knew he was pretty young, probably around 3~4 days old. We got him appropriate kitten formula for his age, a special bottle that came with a "nipple" small enough for him and a kitten heating pad. For the first 1 ~ 2 hours he did alright, still pretty lethargic but whining for food and pooping when we rubbed him with cloths. Alas, after struggling to stay alive he finally let go not too long ago. His nose, mouth, and little paws are dark purple, he is stiff as a bored :cry: :cry: :cry:

This is a picture of when I first picked him up. To give everybody an idea of his size, in order for him to take up my whole hand he would have to stretch out his tail and head
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Re: Rescuing kittens in Japan

Post by Sylvaen » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:40 am

Sorry to hear the sad updates. I would suggest (if possible) trying to rehome the kittens in pairs, rather than singles - it won't be so stressful if they move to a new house with another kitten that they are already bonded to... it will probably make it more difficult to find suitable homes for them (as pairs) but at least you know they will have a better quality of life. Shame it didn't work out with the 2 applicants but it sounds like they were not suitable anyway so it's definitely for the best. You live and learn for next time. :)

Sorry about the little kitten that didn't make it, unfortunately these things happen despite your best efforts - at least you tried though. <3
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Re: Rescuing kittens in Japan

Post by balto13 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:21 pm

Sylvaen wrote:Sorry to hear the sad updates. I would suggest (if possible) trying to rehome the kittens in pairs, rather than singles - it won't be so stressful if they move to a new house with another kitten that they are already bonded to... it will probably make it more difficult to find suitable homes for them (as pairs) but at least you know they will have a better quality of life. Shame it didn't work out with the 2 applicants but it sounds like they were not suitable anyway so it's definitely for the best. You live and learn for next time. :)
yep! :) "the twins" (Gizmo and Barnaby) are set up to only go to a new home together, but I think you're right and Jungle and Akiko might have to go to new homes together too.
Sylvaen wrote:Sorry about the little kitten that didn't make it, unfortunately these things happen despite your best efforts - at least you tried though. <3
I know, and I kept that in mind when I went to pick him up from the lady. Still kind of shook me up when it happened :cry:

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Re: Rescuing kittens in Japan

Post by Sylvaen » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:34 pm

balto13 wrote:I know, and I kept that in mind when I went to pick him up from the lady. Still kind of shook me up when it happened :cry:
Yep, it's rough... and it never really gets easier either. Luckily it doesn't happen that often though and usually you are able to save more lives than you lose. At least the kitten died in a warm house with a fully belly, rather than outdoors... alone and cold.
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Re: Rescuing kittens in Japan

Post by HiTenshi16 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:49 pm

Sorry about the sad updates :( At least things are working out in the end.
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Re: Rescuing kittens in Japan

Post by TParham86 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:46 am

Awe :( I'm so sorry to hear about the baby kitten and about poor Jungle not finding his forever home yet. Society still seems to surprise me on how they go through the application process of getting an animal and in less the 24hrs complain on how it's too hard even though you explained everything to her. :roll: That is exactly how I got my cat Tear, somebody officially adopted her then changed their mind in less than 24hrs and tossed this 12wk kitten outside to fend for itself against hawks, coyotes etc. So glad I was able to find and save her! :)

Good Luck with your kitties! You'll find great homes for them!

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Re: Rescuing kittens in Japan

Post by chelle784 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:07 am

Oh no! This is so sad :(

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