Below is a link to an article from a national (electronic) newspaper in Japan on August 9, 2016. Google assistant asked me if I want to still archive it, and it brought back the inspiration that keeps me going. I saved the story and read it again every now and then, because it reminds me that living simply and nonchalantly can be full, rich, and glorious, as long as I stay true to my life purpose.

While America goes big for dogs, Japan is head over heels for cats.

It started in a day four years prior, where a stray cat gave birth to a litter in a barn far in remote Japan. Grandma Misao, the owner of the barn, watch the magic in silence.

The litter did not survive, but one little baby made it through, although barely. Instead of giving the kitten away, Grandma Misao decided to keep the “poor, little, lonely guy” and named him “Fukumaru” It is her wish that the cat will have his good luck the rest of his life.

What used to be a singular, quiet, empty nest for Grandma Misao, who lived alone in her village house, is now a little bit merrier, Now she has company, now he has family.

One of her grand daughters; a professional photographer, then started to follow their life journey, that captivated the rest of the nation, and then, the world.

One birthday after another, eighty five, and then, eighty six. One Christmas followed by new year. The summer after spring. The harvest on eighty seven, the winter on eighty eight. Fukumaru, naturally prone to deafness like any white cat, cannot hear Grandma speak, but they don’t need algorithm, they don’t need language, they have each other.

But after that four years, Fukumaru, like the full moon that inspire his name, reach his full circle, and go to heaven. Picture below is Grandma Misao at his memorial service, sending her wishes one last time. There were no tears in her eyes, though perhaps, many have shed in the silence beneath her eyes, and perhaps many more in the silence that comes back in the days that follows.


I hope, the language barrier or the peculiar typeface won’t deter you from clicking the link and enjoy their life story. Google translate will provide a fair translation (type google translate in new tab, and click “translate a web page” and copy and paste the address).

There won’t be gruesome photos. I promise you, there will be no sad story, unlike my own, there will be no violence, no tears. If there is any, somehow, it will be the tears of joy, the overwhelming of love, and one single wish as Fukumaru fulfill Grandma’s wish for a life of good luck on the day he was born:

I guess, (starting today) I will watch over Grandma from heaven.

~ Josie



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Josie And The Whiskers' Syndicate

The first and only cat refuge in Bandung (West Java - Indonesia) a capital breeder of a nation without animal welfare law. We care for Bandung's unwanted animals, operate a TNR as much as our budget allows, and continue to educate people about compassion to animals

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