Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hamu and Eggu

Posts will be a little bit higgledy piggeldy (don’t think I have ever seen that written downJ) but here goes one of the stories I partook in while revisiting the Rikuzentakata Ofunato areas.

            Before leaving Okinawa, I got in touch with everyone I had met up North through the last few trips. The people I’ve dropping lines to all year to see how things are evolving for them. One lady has been an amazing fountain of information. If it weren’t for her there would be no Tufty, Setsuo,
She helped to smooth out some of the wrinkles officialdom comes with. This trip was no different.

On our long distance phone call she mentioned that she had heard of an elderly woman in the temporary housing who had been admitted to hospital. She knew the lady had two cats and was contemplating rehoming them. She said she would get in touch and let me know if she needed any help. I called her when I arrived in Ofunato. I had a car, space and I was ready to rumble. I was hitting my gears, I was back in the groove. Then a reality check rained down on me. The owner of the two cats had lost her husband and son in the tsunami. She lived in the Kasetsu jyutaku alone with just her two four year old furries. She had had a very bad year. Depression slowly sidled its way into her life and along with it a myriad of other problems. Her relatives helped as much as they could. Their focus was naturally on her, not her kitties. The cats had spent some time alone at home before the word got out that they were there.
While a little perturbed, they bounced back well and once they found themselves in human company again, world order was restored. Except it was only a temporary solution. Hamu and Eggu had been given to a relative who had allergies who then in turn had to find someone who would take them in. Up steps my Ofunato friend and takes the two, four year old cuddlers to her rented accomodation. She let the family know that they had options with us. They said they would get back to me. That afternoon a text told me we could pick them up on our last day. That evening a text told me we couldn't.  Same again the next day. The heartbreaking decision that was being worked through for this family was just awful. Our last day saw us driving into Ofunato on a 'yes' but getting to the traffic lights before the pick up point on a 'no'. I decided to drop off one of our Japanese flyers so they could take their time in deciding. I met with my friend and she was profusely apologetic for something that was really quite out of her hands. 

She reported they didn't want the cats to be separated, as they had been together since birth and been literally velcroed to each other ever since. I have always heard it is a bad idea to split up a bonded pair of dogs so I presumed the same would go for cats. A quick call to Susan to hear what the JCN policy is on that point and a resounding 'no splitting' was heard loud and clear from the other end of the line. It is a bad idea all around, the cats will have a harder time adjusting to the loss of their 'bestie' which may manifest itself in behaviour problems from despondency on one end of the spectrum to agitation and acting out at the other end. 

These two puddings already had enough chopping and changing without subjecting them to it all over again. The owner was reassured that if these two are going anywhere then it would be together. She decided it would be the right thing to do by her furbs and relinquished them to JCN. We drove them to Inawashiro where they got their shots updated.They are holding their own in the quarantine room but are not happy about the limited up down space arrangements. They had a whole Kasetsu jyutaku before. I've been telling them 'not long now, not long now' but that excuse is wearing thin.They are ready to get out of their 4 storey condo and hopefully into a new home environment. Cats that know nothing but an indoor life like these handsome boys, get a tad stressed in shelters. It is kind of like being accustomed to 5 star hotels and then finding yourself in a dorm room in a youth hostel. All going well they will be out of the Qzone by the end of the week. I'll be sure they get an extra tickle and cuddle session or five to tame the turmoil. 

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