After a decade since the tragic events of the earthquake and tsunami which triggered the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, a loyal man named Sakae Kato, has rescued several cats left behind by refugees.
Kato says he takes care of 41 cats on his property and he has already buried 23 cats in his garden. He also rescued a dog named Pochi. Before the accident, Mr. Kato had a small construction business on land his family had owned for his three generations.
His country ties were part of what prompted him to stay while 160,000 were evacuated. Kato says his decision was confirmed after finding dead pets in an abandoned house and realising that those left behind had someone to take care of them.
So far he has buried 23 cats in his garden, the most recent graves disturbed by wild boars that roam the depopulated community.— Reuters (@Reuters) March 4, 2021
He is looking after 41 others in his home and another empty building on his property 2/7 pic.twitter.com/IOaY0wpb8K
Now Kato spends his days without running water in a small remote village. Every day he goes to public toilets and fills bottles with water from a spring in the nearby mountains. Despite living such a simple life for himself, Kato says he spends about $7,000 a month on his animals. In addition to Pochi and the cats that live in it, Kato also leaves warm food for wild cats on his property. He even feeds a wild boar that roams freely in the area. Devotion to the boar put Kato in trouble with the law.
On February 25, 2021, he was arrested after allegedly releasing a wild boar caught in a trap set by the Japanese government. (At this time, it is not clear if he is still in custody.) After his arrest, neighbours began tending to the vets on his property. When he returns, he will definitely continue his work of caring for the forgotten Fukushima pets.
'I want to make sure I am here to take care of the last one,' Kato said from his home in the contaminated quarantine zone.— Reuters (@Reuters) March 4, 2021
He leaves food for feral cats in a storage shed he heats with a paraffin stove 3/7 pic.twitter.com/djcGoQFR4p