By Kyoksuke Satake
Meow, meow. Cats including white, white-black, brown tabby, are welcoming visitors with their cute voices, and this café is very crowded by people who are waiting for an interaction with this café’s charming cats. “I feel like I’m with cats in my own house” says one visitor. Cats are looking so cute and healthy but most of them have a past which can’t be seen from outside.
Cat café “mocomoco” is important for stray cats as well as people who want to adapt them because this cat café saves stray cats and helps cats find a new owner. In Kochi, there are stray cats who are looking for a new owner and also there are people who want to be a new owner because Kochi has high rate of animal euthanasia but number of people who are looking for pets are increasing according to a study. This café is making adaption easier than adapting stray cats straight from public animal organizations because it’s also a café and we can enter this place more casually. “Staffs here always care about cats and visitors, they bring me cat toys when I want it as if they can read my mind.” says one visitor.
They provide comfortable place to people but also to cats. “Those who are saved after they get matured tend to have a fear towards human.” says Ms. Ozaki. In this café, there are rooms only cats can use, and they are connected to rooms where people can interact with cats, by special roads which can only be used by cats. “We wait until shy cats by themselves go into a room to meet people instead of forcing them.” She explains the reason.
One of the cats who have struggled in the past is a cat called “fuu-chan”. She is a beautiful brown tabby cat but when she was found her characteristic couldn’t be recognized. She had no hair. Instead, she had dandruff and wounds especially around her face because of ticks. This cat café immediately took her to an animal hospital. Thanks to this, her wounds began to heal themselves and her hairs also started to grow.
A cat lying on a carpet
As we can guess from this story, one of difficulties of this activity is a financial aspect. “Most of stray cats have wounds or disease and even when they don’t have them, we still need money for infectious disease inspections and vaccinations.”
Besides, they need to care cats twice a day regardless of whether or not it’s a holiday or typhoon is approaching.
“These kinds of activities need government support.” Ms. Ozaki says. “But it still relies heavily on voluntary individuals” She added. “We believe that it’s important for us to let people know about Kochi’s stray cats’ situation” She concluded.
Cat café “mocomoco” delivers an activity that is especially meaningful to people who want to adapt a cat, stray cats as well as people just love to interact with cats. However, in the future this café aims to achieve, this café doesn’t exist. “We are looking for a world where places like this no longer needed and there is no stray cats to save.” Ms. Ozaki spilt the truth at the end.