Wednesday, June 20, 2012

No Go

Between working full time, fostering, and volunteering, it’s sometimes hard for me to even find time to sleep, let alone do posts, so I apologize for taking a few days.

I was so happy to get a chance to return into the No Go Zone this weekend, since often we reserve the spaces for volunteers that will only be visiting one time, it’s common for me to stay behind at the shelter instead.
This trip we were lucky enough to have a vet tech who was visiting from Tokyo named Monica. She was very knowledgeable about just about everything you could think to talk about and quite a joy to work with.

With our trusty driver, Takumi, behind the wheel, we headed into the 20-30km area of Namie to refill bins and check on animals in neighborhoods.  Every single bin that we checked that day was empty, or nearly empty (forgot to count, but believe we hit about 20), and it was amazing how quickly we went through an entire van full of food to replenish the many feeding stations in the area. And at almost every single stop, there were animals, waiting for their food to get there. It was not hard to tell that these cats were counting on JCN and the other local helpers for their survival.

that black cat actually lived there before

paw prints
While we were checking the stations and making sure a few owners’ animals were alright, it was sad to see all of the fresh marks that had been left behind, like paw prints in dust, or recent excrement. They were all signs of animals that had been forced to suffer for far too long, animals that were still suffering.

On that note, it’s always important to keep searching the whole time you are in the area, because although it often looks barren, there is commonly an animal hiding very nearby in the overgrown vegetation. There were many times when we would catch a glimpse of an animal, just to see it vanish again, not daring to get too near.

one such cat waiting for us to leave

While we were out feeding, there was one cat that caught us all, it was this gorgeous creature just sitting beside the road, very clearly waiting for food. When we stopped, instead of running, it waited patiently for food to be put down and then approached, this was such an encouraging sign that I asked if we could try and trap it. Within 3 minutes of putting the cage down, this baby was in, and during the rest of our trip, it let me pet it and even gave a kiss. By the time we left though, I did not know if it was a boy or girl, because we want it to get acclimated to the shelter a bit more before we start freaking it out a whole lot more, so the poor thing is still without a name.  I am thinking Kocha though, since it has a giant T on its head.

Video of his/her capture

The last stop we made was to visit a group of dogs that the owner refuses to let anyone take or fix, he believes that things are not bad enough yet, and it is illegal for us to go against him. They were all lovely, and while it was clear their owner frequently returned to give them food, it still broke my heart since they all clearly wanted much more affection in their lives and missed people greatly. 

Update on Nala, our FIV+ baby: She is regaining her strength steadily, and this weekend she had enough in her to hiss at David. While hissing might seem like a bad sign to some, Nala was not a fan of people when she got here and only let us touch her once she got very ill, so it’s actually sort of comforting to see her feeling strong enough to put up some sort of fight.

 Bonus photos from the weekend:
 This buddy tried to hide as a cup noodles to keep from getting her medicine, didn't work too well

 A sign from a family thanking TEPCO for giving them all this extra time to sit around and play pachinko away from home

Warning: Last part includes graphic photos and is depressing.

I wanted to do this part last since I try to keep things as upbeat as possible and as such thought it might be a good idea to write the terrible stuff separate so that people could skip it if they so desired.
Anyways, within the No Go Zone, there are still many animals waiting to be rescued, but there are thousands more that it is too late for. During every trip I have made into the zone, there has been at least one body waiting along our routes, and  this trip was no different. While visiting where the group of 80 chickens we used to feed last year was, we decided to walk over to where some locals had freed baby boars at a farm, and then someone pointed out the small cage to the side, partially hidden. Inside, was a corpse that was nearly only bones by now of a small monkey, a creature that never even had a chance after the disaster. While the boars were released, his cage probably went unnoticed over in that corner, leaving him to waste away, terrified, alone, and in immense pain.

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