Netizens mourned the loss of one of Japan’s most beloved cats today, Fukumaru-chan.
Readers may remember when we covered the story of these beautiful photographs of Fukumaru and Granny back in 2012.
Today, Ihara Miyoko, who first photographed Fukumaru, announced on her Facebook page that Fukumaru had in fact passed away a year ago. Ihara is the grand-daughter of Granny Misao, from whom Fukumaru was inseparable. Fukumaru’s passing is bound to have been a great loss for the family.
Rest in peace, Fukumaru-chan.
Ihara Miyoko: “Hello, Everyone…”
Today, as well as thanking you for everything, I have something to tell you all.
As you see from the photograph, Fukumaru has started his journey to the heavens.
He was 11 years old. He still had so much life left in him.
But still, about a year ago on February 22, something happened. And it was on Cat’s Day, too.
I had to think of my family’s wishes, and so I have held off letting everyone know until the first anniversary had passed.
I’m so sorry for lying to you and saying “Fukumaru is doing great!”.
For a long time now, Fukumaru had been battling renal failure.
Renal failure is a path that so many cats have to tread.
It progressed quite slowly, and Fukumaru had IV treatment at home twice. Even though he was still able to move around, he was unable to eat himself, and so he had to be fed through a tube.
It must have been so hard for him. We thought it over as a family time and time again whether it was a good idea to keep him alive through medical intervention.
The only reason we decided to continue with the treatment was because we all felt that we could see a strength in Fukumaru’s eyes; that we could see how much he wanted to live.
The day before he died, as his drip was being prepared, he let out a “miaow”, as if to let us see that he’d had enough.
We are so so grateful to all the doctors and staff at the veterinary hospital.
They even laid out large flowers for him.
But actually we didn’t even get a single wreath from the people who made the photo-book.
It appears that we weren’t going to work together on the next edition either.
I suppose the dead are useless.
There are probably even those who think it serves us right.
And of course I worry about whether or not it was a good thing or a bad thing to have made a book.
But the fact that you all loved Fukumaru like this, that in itself was a good thing.
I still have so many photos of Fukumaru back when he was healthy.
So I’m going to try my very best to bring a new edition out for you all some time!
I know we’re in the midst of an unprecedented cat boom, and everyone is thinking about cats a lot, right? I wonder if these celebrity cats aren’t getting quite stressed with everything…Are they being fed and looked after just because they’re popular right now? And what about all those cats that are still getting put down?
My suggestion is that everyone should take out insurance for their cats. Regular insurance cannot be used for animal treatment, and the bills are no joke.
They may be cats, but they’re family.They have their own purposes, just like we do.
When I’d been having a bad day, I’d come home and Fukumaru would come up to me, and say: “miaow!” (cheer up!). He saved me so many times.
Fukumaru was like my wonderful elder brother.
You really did your best, Fukumaru. Thank you.
I’ll see you again some day. Until then, goodbye.
Comments from Facebook:
You’ll be looking after granny from there…
I pray that you’ll rest in peace m(_ _)m
Out of all the photo books I’ve encountered, this was my favorite.
I also had a white cat just like that, and he set off from this world when he was 12.
When I went to the bookstore, looking for something about white cats, I picked up the book and looked at it. I was so happy I could cry.
Granny and Fukumaru seemed so happy together, it made me feel such warmth.
My lovely Fukumaru, please continue to look after Granny from heaven.
Thank you so much for the beautiful photo book.
Please do your best.
you were always together with granny.
It was just lovely.
I pray you’ll rest in peace.
I loved that book so much.
Even now, I always keep it at my bedside.
Ah. Rest in peace…
I just looked at the photo book with Granny and Fukumaru.
I’ll keep it safe.
He’s on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge now…(*crying*) [NB: In Japan, the “Rainbow Bridge” is the gateway to pet heaven].
Please rest in peace ＞＿＜
I just can’t stop crying…
These two really tugged at my heart strings.
We also have a cat in our family, so to have understood each other so completely, to have never been apart, to know how the other felt…that was love, and I think there is so much I can learn from that.
When I found out he’d died…the tears just wouldn’t stop.
Thank you for making me realize so much.
You did your best, Fukumaru, now sleep well.
I’m worried about whether Granny Misao is doing OK.
Fukumaru, you have to carry on watching out for Granny.
Our beloved little cat also went to heaven this month after battling a tumor. He was doing his best to live until the end, and had been trying to eat his food.
And little Fukumaru, who died looking after his family, I’m sure he had such a happy life. I pray he will rest in peace, and that his family will find some happiness in the future.
May he rest in peace.
I think Fukumaru was so happy. I’m crying as I’m reading this. You did your best, Fukumaru.
I hope Fukumaru rests in peace.
He did his best. Happiness is not how long you live, but rather to be precious while you’re alive!!