Officials were quick to move once the property owner noticed something was amiss.

For many of those who own cats, our furry friends are more than just a housemate. They’re special companions who we form memorable connections with, even if at times our laser beam-chasing, catnip-loving buddies look down on us humans for our lack of feline superiority. However, in some tragic cases, there are households where cats receive treatment they don’t deserve, especially for these 238 underfed cats found living in one house in Sapporo.

Rented out by a couple in their 50s and their son, the house was discovered to be crammed with cats after the building owner paid a visit over missing rent in late March. According to a volunteer from a local animal welfare NPO who was later called in, some cats were so skinny that you could see their bones, and there were numerous cat bones scattered throughout the house. Considering the bleak living conditions of the cats and how malnourished they were, it’s highly likely that they cannibalized deceased or weakened members of their group in order to survive.

Logically speaking, one might assume the couple and their son were part of a crazy, terribly unethical breeding scheme, which is unfortunately not an unusual circumstance in our modern world. But after further interrogation, it was revealed that they simply didn’t spay or neuter their cats, which is an essential process to control local cat populations.

Though it’s rare in Japan for over 200 animals to be recovered at once, luckily for the found kitties one of Sapporo’s most active organizations for animal welfare stepped in to ensure all of them could receive adequate care, whether it’s from the loving support of a foster family or medical assistance from an animal welfare facility.

While it’s a bit of a surprise that no one in the neighborhood’s vicinity heard or smelled the cats, it comes as no shock that many Japanese netizens took to the keyboard to show contempt for the cat owners as well as sympathy for the poor animals:

“In reality, the truly pitiful ones here are the owners of these cats for not doing anything to help them.”
“People should be restricted to only taking care of the number of pets they actually can.”
“Imagine being born and dying in the same place… it’s just too tragic to comprehend.”

Many Twitter users also paid homage to an old commercial which advocates for the proper care of our feline BFFs. Based off a song from the late ’70s called “Kanpaku Sengen” (“Proclamation of the Emperor’s Regent”), the advert is appropriately re-titled as “Nyanpaku Zengen,” or the “Proclamation of the Cat Regent.”

The golden rules of cat treatment decreed by “Nyanpaku Sengen” are the following:

1. When it comes to what’s good for my bodily health, don’t hesitate even if I scratch back!
2. Don’t let me wander outside.
3. Don’t own more of me than you can care for!

The third rule is indeed a resounding sentiment when it comes to this story, and we’re happy to hear that the cats in this case are in good hands now. If you own a kitty yourself during these strange times, make sure to check-in and give them a good cuddle or a chat if they prefer non-physical contact!

Source: NHK News Web
Top image: Pakutaso

● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!