When Motsu the cat went missing, his owners received a cruel letter from someone claiming to be his new owner.

When a Hokkaido cat owner lost their ginger tabby cat Motsu, they decided to put out a humane trap to try to capture him, with a note taped to the top describing the cat, what the trap was for, and asking others not to move it. Inside the trap, they found, not Motsu, but a letter in a childish scrawl claiming new ownership of the cute tabby. The note, signed “Arisu”, read: “He’s too cute, so I can’t give him back.”

A missing cat announcement posted August 2 on the  Tsukineko Hokkaido blog (which is an NPO cat protection organization)  informed local residents that Motsu the cat went missing on July 24. Apparently, the seven-month-old tabby slipped out of the house at around 2 p.m. when a visitor called and left the door open, and he has been on the lam ever since. Tsukineko Hokkaido lent the owners a humane trap on July 25, which was placed in a local park where there had been reported sightings of Motsu. When the owners checked the trap on August 2, they found a letter inside which read: “I’m sorry. The kitten is living at my house so don’t worry. He’s too cute and sweet so I can’t give him back, I’m sorry. Arisu.”

The blog post on Tsukineko Hokkaido included a heartfelt plea for the thief to return the precious pet, condemning the letter and the act itself as incredibly cruel and painful.

When Twitter user @mikeou_ posted about the story on Twitter, it immediately caught the public’s attention. The childish handwriting and the fact that the letter arrived on Hello Kitty stationery led some on Twitter to think that the cat-napping was the work of a child, but others were suspicious, pointing to deliberate grammatical choices which they thought pointed to an adult pretending to write like a child – a truly devious act.

But, luckily, the story could still have a happy ending, with Tsukineko Hokkaido posting a follow-up on August 4 saying that Motsu was spotted outside of his original owner’s home. The organization has now placed a variety of humane traps in the vicinity and are hoping to have Motsu secured soon.

The letter itself remains a mystery. Perhaps it was simply a childish prank designed to toy with the emotions of people suffering the loss of a beloved pet – in which case we hope “Arisu” steps on a whole bucketful of Legos – OR the cat-napper had a change of heart and decided to release Motsu. We’ll probably never know, but let’s all hope that Motsu makes it home soon!

Source: Tsukineko Hokkaido via Jin