Chapuche was featured in The Japan Times Adopt Me! section in May 2017 and her best friend, Chijimi, was spotlighted the following month.

The two cats had already spent five lonely years at ARK and hope was growing dim that they would ever be adopted. In November of last year, however, a bright light appeared in their lives in the guise of Edleen Guanko, whose heart was big enough to welcome both cats into her home.

Guanko, a native of the Philippines who lives in Ehime Prefecture, first fell in love with the huge, gorgeous Chijimi — now rechristened Fujimi. But when Guanko learned that having two cats would help Fujimi adapt more quickly a new home, she adopted Chapuche (now named Chie) as well.

“I did want an older cat as they’re least likely to get adopted. It was a great decision to get both, because Chie is such a sweet girl,” says Guanko. “In the beginning they wouldn’t interact with me at all. They wouldn’t even come out when I brought them food, and would only eat when I left the room and shut the door.”

That is slowly changing. Now when the alarm goes off, the two holler for food.

“They get close to me and make lots of eye contact,” she says. “Fujimi blinks at me a lot.”

Though the two are still skittish and only Chie allows herself to be caught and held, Guanko isn’t concerned.

“Fujimi doesn’t let me touch him yet, but he loves watching me,” she says. “It’s slow but they’re making progress.”

Guanko has faith that in the end, her love will win their hearts completely. It has ours already.

If you are interested in adopting a new pet, email ARK at Tokyoark@arkbark.net or call 050-1557-2763 Monday to Saturday (bilingual) for more information. Tokyo ARK is an NPO founded by Briton Elizabeth Oliver. It is dedicated to rescuing and rehoming abandoned animals. All animals are vaccinated, neutered and microchipped. Prospective owners are requested to undergo a screening process. Web: www.arkbark.net

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