A tiny kitten saved one man from huge tragedy.

Have you ever had a close brush with death, saved only by some totally random occurrence? In such cases, some people thank their lucky stars, and others praise the powers that be or whatever force in the universe that kept them from harms way.

For one Japanese pianist’s uncle, that force came in the form of a little stray kitten.

Yuriko Morota, a professional pianist in Japan, shared a story on her Twitter account this past Friday, August 12, about how her uncle, who, on his way to the airport to catch a flight for a business trip, stopped to help an abandoned kitten. A lover of cats, Morota’s uncle saw the kitten and just couldn’t ignore it, even if it meant missing his flight to take the kitten back home.

Most people wouldn’t be too happy to miss their flight, but for Morota’s uncle, it was one of the luckiest things that happened to him.

As Morota writes:

“31 years ago, my uncle was on his way to the airport to catch a flight for a business trip when he came across an abandoned kitten. He, being the cat-lover he is, just couldn’t leave it there, so he picked it up and brought it back home. Because of this, he missed his flight. That flight was the JAL plane that crashed 31 years ago. He named the cat Nikkō and loved it for the rest of its life. This is a true story.”

The flight she refers to is Japan Airlines Flight 123, which crashed on August 12, 1985, and still to this day remains the deadliest single-aircraft accident in history. All but four of the 524 passengers and crew on board perished in the crash. The accident was caused by faulty repairs to a tail-strike incident several years earlier, and resulted in an explosive decompression that blew off a large portion of the plane’s tail and hydraulic controls 12 minutes into the flight. The plane crash-landed 32 minutes later on Osutaka Ridge near Mount Osutaka in Gunma Prefecture, some 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Tokyo. Rescue crews weren’t dispatched to the crash site until the following morning, which exacerbated the death toll.

▼ The Boeing 747 involved in the crash, in 1984.

JA8119_at_Itami_Airport_1984Image: Wikipedia/Harcmac60

The cat’s name comes from Japan Airline’s official name in Japanese – Nihon kū. Having been spared a tragedy of that magnitude thanks to the little kitten, it’s no wonder Morota’s uncle loved him so.

The story struck a chord with many users online, some whose family also escaped the tragedy:

“My aunt cancelled her flight because of a terrible migraine. I saw retweets from family members of those on the cancellation waiting list who boarded that flight. I have thought absent-mindedly before about the one who died in place of my aunt, but being faced with this directly has made me think about a lot of things…”

And others whose family wasn’t so lucky:

“My uncle was on the waiting list for that flight. He was let on, and he died… I heard from a JAL employee that there were a lot of cancellations that night. I don’t blame your uncle for it. It’s just that reading your story made me wonder how my cousin and aunt feel…”

Morota put it best when she replied: “Life is full of uncertainties. We should live each day with great care.”

And if you come across an abandoned kitten, be sure to help it. He may very well be saving your life.

Source: Twitter/@yurikomorota via BUZZmag 
Reference: Wikipedia/Japan Airlines Flight 123 
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