Thursday 17 February 2022

Japan: restaurant owner rescued stray cats and they rescued his business

NEWS AND COMMENT-JAPAN: This is a nice story of symbiosis, to use a rarely used word, certainly in this context. It means a relationship in which both parties benefit the other. And in this instance both Naoki Teraoka, the owner of a model railway themed restaurant (Tetsudokan) benefited greatly after he rescued stray cats near his business.

He was going through a very difficult time because of Covid. A pretty typical scenario for huge swathes of businesses in entertainment and hospitality. He has a model railway in his restaurant to create a theme and added interest. And he loves model railways.

Japan: restaurant owner rescued stray cats and they rescued his business
Photo: believed to be by @Caferest_bar_Fe.

It's a popular restaurant and he was going bust because of Covid. He noticed a stray kitten next to his restaurant and decided to help because the cat needed help in terms of food and medical treatment. He named him Simba. And a few days later he noticed Simba's mother. He took both of them in. After all, he had plenty of unused food as there were no customers 👍. This implies, by the way, that he fed them human food which is not a good idea but I am pretty sure he also fed them cat food.

And then Simba's mother brought him three more kittens. He became a cat rescuer and the entire concept of his restaurant changed as a result. You can see the photographs on this page. They kind of occupied the place as they do; no doubt because they were delighted to be looked after.

Rescue cats occupy model railway themed restaurant
Rescue cats occupy model railway themed restaurant and boost business. Image in public domain (believed).

He is very tolerant of them climbing all over his model railway which looks as if it was meticulously built. I'm sure they did some damage but I guess he accepted it because the presence of the cats attracted customers and media attention. The photographs of his rescued cats on his model railway went viral. It was a happy accident which he had not foreseen.

Japan: restaurant owner rescued stray cats and they rescued his business
Japan: restaurant owner rescued stray cats and they rescued his business. Photo in public domain (believed).

He said: "It was a financially difficult time for us, but we decided to help the cat family. Yes, we thought we were helping them, but they were the ones who helped us."

His restaurant business appears to be back on its feet. He has now become a cat rescuer as well. There are 14 stray cats in all. It appears to have become a cat café/model railway themed restaurant 😊. He has opened a cat shelter and cat boarding cattery on the second floor. This allows his clients to go upstairs to adopt a cat should they wish. Thus far he has adopted out 100 cats I'm told by MSN News.

There is a moral behind the story: you reap what you sow. It's an old adage which is clearly applicable.

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