Suspect’s pet must have been a finicky feline to need to eat exotic prey like parakeets and hamsters.

At around 1:55 p.m. on 28 August, 69-year-old Takashi Fujita was attempting to leave a home improvement center in Nasushiobara City, Tochigi Prefecture while carrying a total of seven unpaid-for items valued at 11,700 yen (US$105) including some mosquito coils, a parakeet, and three hamsters.

That might seem like an odd shopping list for a trip to the Home Depot, but in Japan it is not an uncommon practice for home improvement stores to also deal in a wide range of pets from puppies to parrots. I suppose it’s reasonable in the sense that a pet does improve one’s home.

▼ Leading “home center” Kohnan is your one-stop shop for both tiling grout…

▼ …and toy poodles

A 53-year-old clerk spotted the elder gent and confronted him. In the ensuing struggle, Fujita is accused of inflicting injuries to the clerk, such as scratches to his thumb, but still the clerk managed to apprehend him and turn him over to the authorities.

Fujita now faces charges of robbery resulting in bodily injury which he denies on the grounds that he intended to pay for the items afterward. Fujita’s loose grasp on how retail works after living on this planet for such a long time will be a matter for the courts to decide.

The real mystery, however, is why he choose to steal the pets — including an animal with the capacity for crying “help” no less. Luckily, the police wondered too and asked Fujita, who casually explained that he was going to feed them to his pet cat.

The suspect’s motive was met with both horror and disbelief from the internet at large.

“He’s lost it.”
“Most home improvement centers do sell cat food too.”
“Was he planning on cooking them first, or does he like carcasses lying around the house?”
“Maybe he’s an aspiring magician but was too shy to admit it.”
“Even if the guy was going to pay for it, it should still be a crime.”
“Who thinks he was planning to eat them himself?”
“Just buy the cat some chicken.”

One lingering question remains whether he went in with the intention of getting the animals for his cat, or was he in there for the other stuff and the parakeet just happened to catch his eye, causing him to think, “You know who would really like that?”

With all due respect to the circle of life and all that, if you’re that into your cat living naturally by releasing live prey into your home, it might be better just to let the cat go live in the wild to catch pigeons and mice on its own.

Luckily, Japan has a wide range of robotic companions to help keep people like Fujita company instead and hopefully out of trouble with the law.

Source: Yomiuri Online, Itai News
Top image: Pakutaso