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Naomi the cat is named after tennis champion Naomi Osaka, and she was first featured in this column in September 2019.

Though she was already 8 years old at the time, her winning ways allowed her to zero in on the competition (in this case, the people she wanted to charm) and she succeeded in landing a top prize — a home with the Iwamoto family of Yokohama.

Itsuki Iwamoto and his son, Tatsuya, marvel at the way she can sling down the chow. Mother Kaori says they had already seen a couple of cats before they met Naomi on their second visit to ARK.

“She jumped straight onto my daughter’s knee … and then nipped her and ran away,” says Kaori, adding that she was nipped next and then her son. “Naomi wouldn’t really show herself to us and seemed to be scared. She left quite an impression!”

And that, surely, was Naomi’s surprise-attack technique at winning some love. It got her noticed and Naomi knew staying in the spotlight was crucial to getting what she wanted.

Sure enough, “On the way home in the car, my son, who rarely expresses his own views, said he wanted Naomi,” Kaori says. “We agreed and she came to live with us. She has now taken over my daughter’s position as queen of the house. She tells us when to pick her up, but if she feels so inclined, she’ll nip us when she wants to get down. But every time we see her, we can’t help exclaiming how pretty she is. She really is super cute.”

If you are interested in adopting a 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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