Stray cats are a common enough sight in Japanese neighborhoods, especially in the suburbs. You don’t have to go far at all to see a random cat crossing the road, though it’s more of a novel sight to see an unfamiliar cat wander into your own garden.
An official account for a veterinary clinic, @catsclinic was reminiscing on one such occasion, complete with photographic evidence of the funny story that followed.
▼ Look at this handsome visitor!
“A black-and-white cat who came to play on our deck…I took the liberty of nicknaming it “Kuro-chan”. One time when it visited it had a flea collar on, so I thought “ah, it’s someone’s pet after all”. I tucked a little note into the collar and when the cat came back, there was a reply!”
The original message reads:
“Who owns this cat? Does it have a name? It comes to hang out with us all the time. What a cutey!”
The reply from the cat’s owner:
“His name is Daizu (Soybean). How long has he been visiting you for? Please keep being his friend.”
This was a cute enough little tale about an animal ferrying messages back and forth, not unlike a carrier pigeon. But then it got even more interesting – after the tweet went viral, another user replied to it.
▼ “Wait a moment. That’s my family cat.”
Then another follow-up, including a lengthy letter and more snaps of Daizu:
▼ “Thank you so much.”
It turns out that the story of Daizu’s messages is quite a few years old, and sadly Daizu himself has passed away. Still, @combo1212 was delighted for the opportunity to remember Daizu with photographs and a loving message.
“Hello. My name is Combo.
(I’m sorry I wrote so much. This is probably difficult to read, so I’m sorry about that.)
It’s been about six or seven years since Daizu came home with that letter stuck to his collar. Even before he came back with the letter, he would come home sometimes with his coat in a beautiful condition…so I wondered if perhaps he was visiting someone’s house.
I remember that when he came home with that letter, my family just absolutely flipped. We were so happy. We laughed so hard: “He’s a legendary cat, that one!” LOL. I remember us talking about how funny it was that things like this really do happen in real life.
We felt a little embarrassed that he’d foisted himself on you, but grateful you’d taken care of him, and of course we were happy you thought he was so cute! So many feelings!
Daizu was actually really nervous around our other neighbors, so we were really surprised that @catsclinic was able to get close and put a letter in his collar. We talked a lot in my family about how, if Daizu let a person get so close to him, the person must really love animals, and know how to deal with them, and they must have been so gentle and kind to him.
I’m sorry for leaving you in the dark all these years with nothing but that tiny message, containing only his name, to know him by. Let me thank you again, and properly this time: thank you so much for taking care of him.
Daizu went to heaven last summer.
I felt so bad that I couldn’t let you know, even though you had taken care of him for me. I’m really happy that I can finally let you know how grateful I am.
This morning, I saw Daizu on my Twitter feed along with the letter I sent. I couldn’t stop shaking. It was like all my fun memories of him came flooding back in a wave. I fell in love with him as a cat all over again.
I’d be so happy if you had the time, if you could tell me more about how he spent his time when he was with you.
Thank you so much, again.”
In one reply to the message, Combo posted a cute family photo from when Daizu was a kitten.
▼ “Here’s Daizu with the cat we got before him, Azuki (red bean). He looked so much like her, it made me happy.”
More than a few tears were shed in the replies, along with plenty of commiserations and cute cat photographs from fellow cat owners. We wonder what might have happened if Combo had followed Daizu all the way to the vet’s clinic…though maybe it might have just ended up like this.