December 17, 2013
Cat-Lover Steals $185,000 For Kibble
I’ve already confessed my shameless status as a semi-crazy cat guy in an earlier article on feline apathy, but even my adoration has its limits. For Mamoru Demizu, Japanese cat lover, such boundaries do not exist. Demizu is a cat burglar in the strangest sense of the word. He stands convicted of 32 counts of breaking and entering, accompanied with burglary charges adding up to an astonishing $185,000. What could have sparked such a heinous string of theft, you ask? His kitties — specifically, the 120 stray cats he fed on a regular basis.
Demizu’s original adoration was significantly less criminal, though it still bordered on the extreme. He rented out a warehouse that served as a home for twenty cats, all of whom he visited daily. As time went on, he began expanding outward, feeding the other strays nearby. Pretty soon, he was feeding over a hundred cats every day. Anyone who owns pets knows that feeding those loveable little balls of fur isn’t always cheap, and Demizu’s situation was no exception. His habit of helping strays was costing him almost $250 … every day. That’s about as much as I spend on food in an entire month. When he lost his job, this obviously became very problematic. He was left with a horde of hungry kitties and no means with which to feed them. Unable to abandon them to an uncertain fate, he started borrowing money to cover the costs. As you might imagine, that didn’t last very long. Can you imagine having that conversation with your friendly neighborhood loan provider? Bad moved on to worse as Demizu’s borrowed money dwindled. Eventually the reserves dried up, but his cadre of kitties wasn’t going anywhere. Determined not to let them starve, the well-intending yet terribly-misguided Demizu donned his own proverbial Robin Hood cap and began his spree.
It’s a story that is equal parts absurd and heart-wrenching. On the surface, it’s easy to scoff and laugh at a man willing to throw away his livelihood for a bunch of stray cats. But once you start thinking about it, really thinking about it, there’s an undeniable tragedy to the whole story. He told the police that he felt happiest when he was nuzzling his cats, who I’m sure were grateful for the free meals.That doesn’t excuse the behavior, of course, but it does make me feel sorry for the guy. Not that he got caught, but that his only sense of emotional fulfillment came from feeding stray cats.
But I’m a sap. I want the big ol’ happy ending. I know, factually, that there are countless stray animals wandering the streets everyday. They live. They die. It doesn’t really affect me. But by associating with Demizu through this story, these particular strays have been given a face. It makes me want to fly over to Japan and adopt them all.
Hmm … how much was it to feed them again? Let me go check my wallet …
Image Credit: Thinkstock