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Happy Cat Day to the 'Hard-Working' Felines of Okinawa

To celebrate National Cat Day in Japan, we zoom in on the lives and furry faces of three cats bringing joy to the workplace in Urasoe and Nago city.



Chai (the Second), the "sales manager" at the real estate agency Tomato Housing. (©Sankei by Shuji Ozaki)

Today is Japanese National Cat Day, celebrated on February 22. The date resembles the Japanese onomatopoeia for a cat's vocalization: "nya nya nya" (2/22 or ni ni ni). 

In tribute to the "hard-working" cats in Japan, we present heartwarming stories of feline companions bringing joy to two companies in Okinawa: real estate agency Tomato Housing and florist Fa Fa.

Chai the Second on a cat tree surrounded by his colleagues. (©Sankei by Shuji Ozaki)

The Two Cats of Tomato Housing

There are two resident felines at the real estate agency in Urasoe: Chai the Second, a seven-year-old male tabby, and Pi-chan, a 17-year-old female. They hold the titles of "sales manager" and "branch manager," respectively.

The agency's affinity for cats dates back to its early years. Chai the First was rescued by President Yukari Kawabata from a garage at a property up for sale. The agency's office became a comfortable home for Chai. Later, Pi-chan joined the team after being discovered sleeping by the roadside.

Pi-chan looks suspiciously at the photographer. (©Sankei by Shuji Ozaki)

However, Chai passed away at the age of 17. Grieving, Kawabata adopted a closely resembling tabby cat through a foster parent recruitment program. He was named "Chai the Second."

Chai (the Second) looking relaxed at the office. (©Sankei by Shuji Ozaki)

Kawabata remarks, "The bond we have with cats brings us immense joy." To safeguard feline lives from euthanasia and traffic accidents, she allocates a portion of the company's sales to support animal welfare organizations.

Tomato Housing's company car. (©Sankei by Shuji Ozaki)

A Flower Shop in Nago

Meet Milk, the beloved feline mascot of florist Fa Fa, estimated to be around 5 years old. Whenever a staff member calls out, "Milk, you've got customers!" a cheerful meow resounds from the back of the shop.

Milk's enthusiasm extends beyond the confines of the shop floor. Whenever a delivery is being prepared, Milk eagerly jumps into the car, peering with anticipation at the road ahead.

Milk getting ready to deliver flowers. (©Sankei by Shuji Ozaki)

In moments of grief, Milk's presence takes on a special significance. Sometimes the florist is asked to bring Milk along when delivering flowers to a funeral venue. Grieving families have expressed that the cat provides them with a sense of comfort during difficult times.

Fa Fa's Manager Shokichi Yamauchi says, "Maybe this little one is bringing in the customers," stroking Milk affectionately.

Milk at the shop's entrance welcoming customers. (©Sankei by Shuji Ozaki)


(This is an excerpt from a Japanese article.)

Author: Shuji Ozaki


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