2017 / 02


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This journal is written by Kuma (Felis catus) and Kuma's owner Y (homo sapiens). We have moved from Japan to Australia in 2011.


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2017-02-22 06:45   Cat Day

Y (Kuma's owner)

The 22nd of February is Cat Day in Japan. Every language has different expressions of animal sounds, for example in Japanese a cat's voice expressing "meow" is "nyan" or "nya." These sounds are similar to the pronunciation of "2 (ni)" in Japanese. You see, the 22nd of February has three 2s, "nyan nyan nyan" (meow meow meow) therefore Japanese cat lovers decided to call it Cat Day.


Cats are common animals in Japan and when I was small people kept cats freely, cats could go outside as they wanted. Nowadays people, especially those who live in big towns, keep cats inside of their houses. According to one of the surveys in 2014, 75% cats are indoor cats in Japan. Personally, my friends who have cats all keep their cats indoors.


I saw the website of many cat shelters when I was looking for a cat in Japan, and I noticed that all shelters required giving cats a vaccination and keeping them inside the house. If there's someone who cannot keep a cat inside the house, shelters don't give cats to them. Commonly, rented houses or apartments are not allowed to keep pets (except small animals and birds), therefore most cat shelters make sure that someone who wants to adopt a cat lives in a pet friendly house or owns a house. Some of the shelters are very careful and they visit the applicant's house to make sure.

I adopted a cat in Australia two years ago. I thought that the shelter was going to ask me if I was able to keep a cat inside of the house but they didn't. It was surprising because I heard that there are many indigenous animals in Australia that are facing danger by cats.


One of my Japanese friends loved cats very much. One day, I went to a mountainous area with her in Japan, which has a variety of birds. A souvenir shop displayed bird's postcards that would be a donation for a wild bird foundation. She said that it's very important to protect those wild birds and I agreed.

However, after that I heard that she was talking about her cat and said proudly "My cat is wild, he is good at catching birds."

What!? She did not notice that she contradicted herself.

I have heard that some people think that cats are mysterious animals, but to me human beings are more mysterious. People say something completely opposite on a different occasion.

Cats and other pets' lives depend on their owner. If they cannot find good people to live with, their life will be miserable. I hope that cats in shelters are able to find good people.

Happy Cat Day!

| | Category Cats

2017-02-06 03:25   The last lettuce that remained on the plate


Recently, Sushi is becoming a popular food all over the world. Here in Australia, Sushi is not an exotic food anymore. Almost every shopping centre has at least one Sushi Bar. Therefore, people are getting used to using chopsticks and some people use chopsticks really well.

However, when I was young (I won't say how long ago it was), Australians didn't eat Sushi and as is obvious people had no chance of using chopsticks. I remember that I was asked how I managed to use two sticks to pick up food. People seemed to think that I was good with my fingers.

If I wasn't Japanese, maybe I would have thought as people did but if I look from a different viewpoint, Australians or other people who live in the world where using knives and forks are good with their fingers as well. The reason is a thin leaf of lettuce.

One of the things that annoys me is a salad which contains lettuce. I don't mean I don't like lettuce, I like lettuce. I always have trouble picking up the last thin leaf of lettuce from the plate. It's too thin to stick a fork into a lettuce leaf, you know. It's lucky if the last lettuce leaf is on something like tomato or avocado, I can stick lettuce together with other vegetables and it's easy. The most difficult one is a thin lettuce leaf on the plate by itself.

The last lettuce that remained on the plate

Even I know it's almost impossible, but I try to stick it with a fork at least one or two times. It's not often that my effort is rewarded. When I can pick up the last lettuce leaf with a fork, I feel like that I have accomplished a difficult task. I want to say "I did it!" but my common sense stops me saying it in public and stops people thinking that I'm a weird woman.

My teacher when I was at elementary school used to say "Never give up, if you try to work harder, you are able to do anything you want!"

I knew that the teacher wanted to encourage kids but even when I was small I knew it wasn't true. He didn't notice how difficult it was to pick up the last lettuce leaf from the plate.

When I went out for lunch, I paid attention to how other people manage to pick up the last lettuce. I couldn't stare at other people eating so I mostly tried to pay attention to my meal and glanced at them only a few times. The result was I missed them seeing me eat the last lettuce!

I gave up learning by watching other people do things. I do what I can. I use a knife together with a fork and pick up thin lettuce, this is my method. Holding a lettuce leaf with a knife and pushing it with my fork. If I'm lucky, lettuce bends and it can be stuck with a fork or scooped with a fork. I hope this method isn't a breach of manners.

Back to the first topic as people seem to think that using chopsticks is difficult but it isn't. It's easier to pick up thin lettuce with a pair of chopsticks rather than a fork. Can't you believe it? Please try!

| | Category Misc.

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