lunedì 21 luglio 2014


Hard afternoon, today. I was walking along Ukishima-dōri when I found a poor, little cat. Malnourished – all bones -, dirty, half dehydrated, with a broken paw. Very sweet, meaowing desperately. Most probably a family cat, ended under some car. The millionth in this city where almost nobody gives a famous shit about stray animals. I yelled all the blaphemous words that I know, then I started thinking what to do. First I gave him (I thought it was a boy) some food, he just wanted caresses. I called Satoka, she called Satoka 2, she called another young woman, all cats lovers. The situation looked like Sex and the City, but without shopping and with more WTF-should-we-do? We took the poor thing to a friend’s shop and put it/him into a basket. Came a client, said that she might know the story of that cat. A tenant of the condo where she lived is known as a crazy lady that collects cats and hates people (quite similar to me, I’d say). The neko might have fallen from her window at the 10th floor. We went to the condo, covered with scaffoldings. Talked to the big guy at the door, he told us that the witch wouldn’t let us in/talk to anybody. In the building the other tenants are scared by her. Her apartments smells of cat’s pee but nobody dares to say something, or the tiger… Calling some public ‘animals help’ organization means to call the killers that, SWAT-style, would kidnap the poor kitties and bring them to Ōsato’s contentration kamp to choke them with Co2. No way. The peculiar conversation ended up with the guy showing us a photo of a dead cat – probably another one of the catlady -, self-hanged (I really hope for the self) between the scaffoldings. He said that during the works they had found already two cats like that…

We are not killers, so didn’t call the SWAT and took the baby to a vet. She said that the cat was a 2-3 years old SHE and kind-of OK. Just needed to eat. Her paw had been broken a long time before, maybe too late to be fixed. Cat too malnourished to be sterilized: first a fattening diet, then fixing time. We called the oba-chan (gattara) that has a shelter near our home, she knows EVERYTHING about this damned topic and, under a crusty skin, has a sugar heart. She came running and took the kitty to another vet, a better one – less hurried, more scrupulous. Now the baby is at the clinic, but Satoka decided already to adopt her. Adoption ‘at distance’, as our apartment is big as a u-boat’s room and Tabi-chan, the official neko of the house, is already a spoiled princess that doesn’t tolerate immigrants extracomunitari.
So we – Satoka, me and the Sex and the City’s ladies – will make a collection and pay the pension for the poor cat at the shelter, after cured. We decided to call her Pina. Not because it’s a nasty Italian name, but from ‘zampina’, ‘little (broken…) paw’ in Renzie’s language. So, guys (and honey girls): please, consider that Pina is the sweetest catneko in the world, even if in this picture doesn’t look the cutest (try to spend at least 24 hours like she did, after watch yourself at the mirror…). Her meaows (‘gnagna’ in Japan) are the more moving and loving of Naha and of the whole Okinawa. In case you want/need a new girlfriend, contact me and the Paradise keys will be yours!


Today we went to see Pina, the poor cat that I found few days ago in the center of Naha with a broken paw. We feared the worst (cancer), when Shuri's vet called us saying that he needed to talk to us. Once at his clinic, we felt better. No HIV, no cancer, only... a broken leg. Needed 100.000 yen (around 730 euros!) to fix it... We have no idea where to find them. Satoko started to contact cats' lovers, our hope is that with the effort of many we can bring her back to a normal life. Pina, gambare!

OK, I've decided! I will print some postcards from my photos of Okinawa's neko and (try to) sell them, in order to raise funds for The Mission: save Pina's leg and help the few animals shelters that struggle in the daily war Neko vs bad humans (cars, Osato gas chamber, sickness).

Satoko is making very cute neko-inspired keyholders. She will try to sell them this weekend at the Sakurazaka Market.

We’re also thinking to put together a group of cats-lovers (we know several of them, mostly ladies) and make a side-event os September 23rd, when at Tenbusu Building will be shown a moving film about Japanese cats. The idea is of organizing a flea market to raise funds for the too many stray cats in Okinawa.

Every kind of HELP is more than WELCOME!

Second successfull afternoon, yesterday at Sakurazakka happy hippy market to raise funds for Pina the broken cat. We're on the good way, THANKS to all the friends (Asami Tsutsumi, Tatsuhiko Maki, Mayumi and Cross and Tomomi Sawahata, Yuka TakadaJohn DavisSadako DavisAcaghi YocoYoshiko Shimoda, Yukie-san, Hiroki InagawaFrancesco BolognesiMiho Kobayashi, Hachi Works, Nishida Aya) and to the unknown, gentle souls that donated for the poor cat. This week probably we'll proceed with the operation, as soon as possible - first Pina needs to get some weight and is being fed in a Shuri's vet clinic. Some of you guys made fantastic envelopes - like Mayumi-san -, and my friend John put his $ in an envelope that generally is used for hospitalized people (cuteness into the cuteness: he donated to 'Pino', who actually is a friend of mine from Napoli, I will let him know...).


Today we went to visit Pina at the clinic in Shuri. She's eating and genki, but still very thin. We'll try to fix her leg next week - this weekend is expected another typhoon rompicoglioni, and when the typhoon comes surgeons stay at home to take care of their stamps collections. The vet of Shuri's clinic, after we gave him a flyer that Satoko made to raise $ for the surgery, gave us an offering. Hidden in his hand, directly into Satoko's hat. When we left the clinic and watched the banknote we were shocked. Usually nice people that want to contribute give 1000 yen. He gave us 10.000 yen. Hidden probably because he didn't want his assistants to see his wonderful moment of crazyness. ARIGATOU GOZAIMASU, SuperVet!

Myu-san, the oba-chan gattara who's helping us in this adventure (she's our taxi driver up-and-down Shuri), proposed to make a Pina-party at her home when the neko will be finally OK. I will cook tagliatelle al ragù and the vet will be the guest star. Get ready for a Pina Party FB event on these screens, coming sooooon!

This morning we moved Pina from the clinic Akane in Shuri to the EIR in Okinawa City. A lot of miaomiaomiao in the car. Shuri's vet is a real San Francesco, or almost: the total charge for 18 days & nights at his clinic, medicines, food, check-ups and love was of 68.000 yen, but he gave us a discount of... 48.000 yen (+ a donation of 10.000 yen)


We just paid 10.000 yen. AMAZING.

(Somebody told me that his wife is not sooooo happy about his prices policy, but... sometimes divorce can be very healthy, right?)
So we earned on one side, but lost on the other one.
EIR's vet asked us more or less 150.000 yen for the surgery (the exact cost will be decided after his examination), 50.000 more than expected. His opinion is that Pina's arm need a permanent, artificial support, and only that costs 40.000 yen. He also gave us a 'discount' for sterilizing her: 10.000 yen, instead of 20.000
We need to pay around 160.000 yen (nearly 1160 euros, at today's exchange rate)...!!!
I was shocked, thinking of how many cats we could save with that $.
But Satoko insisted to go on with this adventure, so we will end what we started. She signed the paper$.

We need more donations. This week I'll print my Okinawa's neko postcards and start selling them, but making around 50 yen net per postcard it will be a looooooong way...
Anyway, THANKS once more to Myu-san, the holy gattara that took us here & there, taking care of this poor cat.
Pina should be operated on Wednesday, then, after 2-3 days, if everything will be ok, back to Shuri's clinic. Then... the future will tell (She's looking for a nice family).
P.S.: a juicy information that I got today, about how things work here around: recently Naha's government decided to start a program (today) of catching, sterilizing and returning cats along Kokusai-dori, the shopping street for tourists. Tourists, they said, like cats and don't want them to die in Ozato's gas chamber. So a couple of friends that love cats, with a HUGE experience in the field, offered their free help to the program. They said NO. Meaning: no real cats lovers are welcome, just gov't employees. Meaning 2: a fake project.

This morning Myu-san, the oba-chan/gattara friend who has a neko shelter near our home, took us with her car (once more!) to the vet clinic in Okinawa City and get Pina-chan back to Naha. Satoko paid a fortune, but THANKS to all the nice souls that donated what they could we were able to cover ALL the expenses! Somebody may think that spending all thet money for a cat is simply crazy... but we believe that in a civilized society people should spend $ for people in difficulties, as well for cats, dogs, birds and every other kind of animal (even habu!). The vet's assistant gave us a bunch of medicines, that Pina will need to take for a week, including a pain-killer for today (the surgery must not have been easy).
As we cannot keep her at our home (too small, the kingdom’s neko – Tabi-chan, our very jealous cat – is for one cat and one only… she told me), we brought her for few days to Oshiro-san’s shelter, another wonderful oba-chan/gattara who lives in Heiwa-dōri shopping arcade. She helped us already a year ago, when I picked up Kittyno – a wonderful baby-tiger – from a street one second before ending under a car. She’s an expert neko-nurse and will take good care for the next days in her neko-only house. We’re looking for a good family willing to adopt Pina. I swear, she’s the sweetest! Even when super hungry, she prefers caresses rather than pappa…
Today Satoko ended also the urgent mi$$ion to collect donations for Pina. Not only Myu-san gave us 10.000 yen (!), but today we received serious donations from Satoko 2-san, the nice owner of the vintage fashion shop ANKH, and from the owner of Mimuri, another cute shop along Ukishima-dōri. Both gentle ladies are cats lovers and help that street’s cats, collecting donations for emergency situations like Pina’s one. Satoko 2 takes used cool dresses to sell and uses that money for neko-missions. If you need to make some space in your messy wardrobe, please bring to her what you don’t need anymore.

We wish to THANK, with all our hearts, all the nice people that helped us, today and throughout this period. You made the difference, without you Pina would have died on a stupid sidewalk, like many other cats do in Naha everyday.
Our struggle, however, doesn’t stop here. As the best that the local government can do to ‘help’ stray cast is to gas them in Ōzato prison camp and/or sterelize only the ones of Kokusai-dōri (the window-street for the tourists’ shopping), at the moment Naha’s stray cats can only count on the help of volunteers as us (me + You). Soon I’ll promote a petition to transform Ōzato gas chamber into a free vet clinic and print postcards to sell in order to raise funds for the next emergencies – almost everyday, going around the city by bicycle, I see poor cats that need help. We’ll continue collecting donations in the name of Pina, now a ‘symbol’ of this hard war Nature vs City/bad humans. As soon as Pina will be ok, we’ll have a PINA PARTY at Myu-san’s home (in the next days I’ll do a FB event page), near Yogi Koen. That day you’ll be able to meet Pina, visit Myu-san’s shelter and, why not, continue helping cats, while I’ll cook a good pasta for you.

STITCHES BYE-BYE! - This morning, always with the superhelp of Myu-san, we took Pina (once more…) to Okinawa-shi clinic, to remove the stitches. We understood that she doesn’t like the car… she kept meaowing the whole trip (over one hour). She also didn’t enjoy the short operation. Doc Ikehara, a Super-Sensei of veterinary, did a good job and after Pina was full of energy. Since I found her and we brought her to the first vet she got 450 grams! We’re happy, she eats a lot, and all she needs – after the nightmare she must have been through – is pappa (Italian for baby-food), nanna (Italian for baby-sleep) and love. The vet showed us her almost-OK leg: the bone got bigger, a good sign. When he removed the stitches Satoka almost cried, as if he was removing them from her… I took some photos, hypnotized by the nurses’ masks. Unfortunately the poor neko will have to keep the Elizabeth-funnel and stay in a small cage – no dangerous scratchings/jumps - for three more weeks. We’ll visit her everyday at Oshiro-san’s shelter, where we brought her back after the operation (one more hour of meaows).

We gave Myu-san the donation received in the past days by my friend ‘Shiro’ (as she wants to keep the anonymity; by the way, ‘shiro’ in Italian is ‘bianco/a’…) and she was very happy. The $ will help her neverending struggle in her shelter by Yogi Koen (around 30 cats and 1 dog at her home…).

And we gave Doc Ikehara a flyer of the film-event of September 23rd, when at Tenbusu Building (Kokusai-dōri, Naha) will be shown a very interesting documentary on stray cats in Japan, U.S.A. and Germany. Doc Ikehara said that he will promote the event during an interview he’ll give to a local radio on September 5th (at 2 p.m., I’ll be there to photograph him).

Minna-san, once more ARIGATOU GOZAIMASU!

Also coming soon:
Stay tuned...

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