METROPOLIS | CLASSIFIEDS | PERSONALS | JOBS
LIFE IN JAPAN
Ute Ikuta

Ute IkutaOccupation:
Cat lover
Time in Japan:
30 years




 

For most of my life, I never had a pet. My son had asthma so I never considered having an animal. After he left home, I saw this beautiful Abyssinian and fell in love with it right away. Later I started going to cat shows and that opened the whole cat world up to me. I saw how beautiful and how lovely they could be.

Then I became aware of the plight of homeless cats. Now almost every day, year round, I trap cats to get them spayed and neutered. People call me up and tell me about new cat populations around Tokyo. Most of these people begin feeding the cats and then after a few months they multiply or become feral. So I jump in my car with plenty of animal cages and round them up. It?s a full-time job for me.

My schedule depends on meal times. If people feed the cats at midnight I have to trap them around that time. Many people choose to feed in the middle of the night to avoid criticism from neighbors so I am on call 24 hours a day. When Tokyo is sleeping, I am out trapping cats. From there I bring the cats to a vet who gives me a discount on the operation. Later I always return the strays to the same place I found them.

I also rescue cats and find them homes. Many cats turn up in parks or where people eat lunch and feed them. Often homeless people take them in, feed them and later give them to me. Once I visited a tennis court where cats had begun to appear. The ladies who played tennis had cats of their own and would bring food for the strays. After a while, new litters turned up. I took five from that location. Later in Spring, I found a different population, more kittens had been dumped.

Another time a woman left a cat in a pet carrier in a public toilet. The custodial staff opened it and the cat ran out. I looked for the cat everywhere and finally I found it. It stood at the bottom of a slope, hissing like mad. So I went and got the carrier from the bathroom. I got down on my belly and held on to a tree for support. I waited for 40 minutes until finally the cat jumped into the carrier. When I found the owner, she said she thought the cat would just find its way home. She lived on the other side of Tokyo.

The rest of my time is spent setting up bazaars to make money for the operations. We go to all the flea markets in Tokyo and sell used items. Many people cannot afford to spay their cats so we provide the service free of charge on a case-by-case basis. Dobutsuentachi no Kai does similar work and is really effective.

Right now I am studying the Humane Society in the United States, Cat Fancy and other organizations overseas to develop a plan for Tokyo. We can really do a lot more here in Tokyo. Cats are animals just like us and can coexist with human beings in peace.

People interested in adopting a cat should contact Dobutsutachi no Kai at 0425-83-2908.

Ute spoke with Michael Addison.

Do you know an interesting person in Tokyo? E-mail us at editor@tokyoclassified.com

LIFE IN JAPAN:
199: Diane Morris
Media & Advertising
198: Ross Mihara
NHK Sumo Announcer
196: Corky Alexander
Tokyo Weekender
195: Edward Obaidey
Acupuncturist
194: Merry Angel
Managing Director
193: Alison Pockett
Managing Partner
192: Zack Konno
Car Export Representive
191: Pamela S. Caudill
Assistant U.S. Customs
190: Caroline Power
Being a Broad
189: Geoffrey Tudor
P.R. Section Chief JAL
188: Ryuko Ishikawa M.D.
Family Psychiatrist
187: Georges Hassam
Arabic Dance Instructor
186: Larry London
DJ at InterFM
185: Richard James
Photographer & Writer
184: Alan Kidd
Rock Musician & Editor
183: Adam Hitchens
Mobile Hairdresser/Masseur
182: Lylian de la Vega
Volunteer
181: Annie Chang
Computer Training
180: Mike Jacobs
Writer/Photojournalist
179: Jimmy Angel
Rock'n'Roll Singer
178: Dante
Performer
177: Elizabeth Spencer
Tokyo Classified Intern
175: Paul E. Ainlay
Proprietor of D.B. Cooper's
174: Steve Bindon
Artist
173: Nanae Nagata & Naji Rahman
Proprietors of Heart Cocktail
172: Tom Holiday
Singer/Guitarist
171: Gordon Hutchingson
Copywriter
170: Barry Cardinal
Renshi Aikido Instructor
169: Tammy
Hostess
168: Steve Feldman
Computer Dealer
167: Eve Suter
Flower Designer
166: Paul Goldsmith
Computer/H.R. Consultant
165: Avry Gottesman
Auto Dealer
164: Russell Pollard
Financial Advisor
163: Sa'dia
Belly Dancer
162: Marcel L'Esperance
Choral Director
161: Gregg Alan
Used Motorcycle/Car Dealer
160: Dr. Greg Sapplers OMD
Oriental Medical Doctor
159: Ute Ikuta
Cat Lover
158: Pam Adkins
Shaw College
157: Cloudy Bong Water
Comedian/Performer/Teacher
156: Melissa
Internet Company Director
155: Paul Gibson
Proprietor, The Fiddler Pub
154: Ann Spiers
Psychotherapist
153: Evans M. Asare
Chef
152: Sandy Weiss
Acting Teacher
150: Kike
Dancer

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