"Kotaro, you're alive!"

A male cat was reunited with his owner more than a month after he went missing in the Jan. 1 major earthquake that hit the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture.

"I thought I'd never see him again. I can't believe it," said the cat's owner, Eriko Matsuda, a 44-year-old public worker in Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa.