Give them not only foods but home.

I criticize for feeding stray cats. However the person who could give a home to a homeless cat easily than anyone else is who has been feeding, actually. In fact, stray cats depend on humans who feed them. Unfortunately, it often makes another person difficult to close a stray cat. One of the bad effects of feeding stray cats is making a situation that keeps true cat lovers apart from the cat.

I have recommended them several times to pick the cat up from the alley and keep it in their house. But their answer was always, “No.” They said like: “My husband hates cats.” “It is odd that cats aren't in outdoors.” “These cats are already my children, even though they are out.” The most likely answer is, “No, I won't. Because it's just a stray cat.”

It is not less people who think that house cat means being sold in a pet store with a pedigree paper and stray cat means no worth to sell. They assume a house cat and a stray cat are different species. My explanation, “A cat is a cat. People call a cat in different words such as a house cat, a stray cat, a community cat, but they are all the same species,” would be slightly laughed.

Once in a town, I met a stray cat whose foreleg was broken. I guessed from the situation, the cat had been given foods from a bar. I knocked the door and met the owner and asked if he wants to cure the cat. I was supposed to offer that I would pay for half of the treatment cost. But when he heard the word ‘cure,’ he immediately spread displeased look in his face and said, “I'm only feeding the cat. It's a stray cat. It's none of my business. And I gotta prepare for cooking right now!”

My conversations with people who feed stray cats give me an insight. Currently, I think reducing the people who feed stray cats is the first step to help to reduce homeless cats and their tragedies. They are almost middle-aged or elderly. If the next generation doesn't feed stray cats in outdoors thoughtlessly and welcome a stray cat as their family member, miserable stray cats will be less and less.

Regarding a cat as a family might be laughed and be criticized as anthropomorphism. But I think that if we humans have no sense of anthropomorphism we have no love for everything.

This photo was taken on 20 August 2013, Tokyo, Japan. ©Naoto Shinkai



僕は何度か彼らに、猫を路上から拾って家で飼うよう勧めたことがある。しかし彼らの返事は決まって「無理だ」というものだった。彼らはこんなふうに言う――「夫が猫嫌いだから」「町に動物の姿がないのは変だ」「外にいようと、この猫たちはうちの子」。 最もありがちな返答は「飼わないよ。だって、野良猫だから」というものだった。





2013年8月20日 東京都内にて撮影 ©Naoto Shinkai