6:24am: “Hey, you up yet?”

6:37am: “I said: ARE YOU UP?”

6:42am: “Yo, it’s like totally daylight out there! get up!”

6:45am: “Don’t mind me, I’ll be jumping up and down around the room until you get up.”

6:46am: “Oh, cool, you’re up. Let’s have breakie!”

6:52am: “Hmn, more breakie?”

6:54am: “Wow, that was nice. You should eat more, you look a bit peaky.”

[…]

8:23am: “Get the fuck AWAY FROM ME. You sweaty disgusting mess. I’ll cut you.”

9:07am: “So… you thinking of going soon? ‘Cause we would kinda like the house to ourselves.”

[…]

11:54pm: “You call THAT a time to get home?”

11:55pm: “I don’t give a rat’s arse about your boring day at work. DINNER. NOW.”

11:59pm: “Oh, you’re still here…”

[…]

3:03am: “Hey, you asleep yet?”

3:05am: “HEY!”

[…]

I am stuck in an abusive relationship with two sociopathic cats.

Before repair: looks like it was attacked by a wild beast.Cat couldn't resist the temptation of a last few scratchesBit of water...... and it comes right off!Cats: not helpingFinal result!

It’s not that the cats specifically target the shoji… It’s just that said shoji happen to be just behind their favourite indoor climbing equipment (aka “curtains”). Not that these shoji were all that intact to begin with (couple small tears and a few individually patched cells, not to mention 30+ year-old paper).

Anyway, now that the household’s feline population has been taught to (mostly) stay away from curtains, I felt it might be time to get rid of the “just-survived-a-tiger-encounter” look of the bedroom sliding screens, while partaking in the time-honoured Japanese tradition of replacing shoji paper.

This time, however, I opted for the supposedly cat-proof plastified version, which comes with the added bonus that it is heat-reactive and can be applied with a press iron, without separate glue.

They thought it defeated.

Its hideous shapeless mass: buried and gone forever. Its death the prelude to an everlasting era of warm happiness and sunny days.

But the beast was merely bidding its time and has finally returned.

Stronger than ever, steeped in the blood and hopes of the thousand brave men it has devoured whole, its bone-shivering ululating howls fill the space…

From the deepest, darkest, recesses of the Winter storage closet, the kotatsu is calling.

In prevision of Tokyo’s cold Winter approaching, we have adopted a pair of 100% organic heaters. Although their current wattage is still a bit low (despite sustained high-level purring), we fully expect them to reach a good heating capacity before end of year…

And if you are looking to adopt cats in Japan, you should definitely have a look at these guys and these guys (recommended by previous): they do amazing work trapping, neutering and releasing adult stray cats, while placing kittens for adoption. (Needless to say, if you ever buy a cat from one of those horrendous pet mill shops, I will never talk to you again).

My new apartment comes equipped with a pigeon coop: fresh pigeon eggs for breakfast every morning, straight from my balcony…

Note to the genius realtors who spruced-up the place before I moved in: enclosing the entire balcony in a metallic net to protect it from these flying rats, was a very good idea with laudable intent.

It would have been considerably more effective, had it not resulted in trapping an entire pigeon family on my balcony, inside that net.