One of my very first “What the Heck is That?” columns in The Japan Times, way back in 2005, was about why Japanese alley cats don’t have tails. A few months after the column appeared, I got an email:
I would like to import a nice red & white male Japanese Bobtail for my cattery. But I cannot find any breeders listed in Japan, and the ones that I have been told about are judges who got their cats from the US. That will not help me as they will be related bloodlines and I do not want to inbreed. Sincerely, Kathy Lawson
What the heck. I did a quick internet search and found a breeder in Hokkaido who had English on her website. I had no idea about breeder qualifications, but at least the two cat ladies would be able to communicate without my further intervention.
And communicate they did! The Hokkaido breeder was scheduled to attend a cat show in Los Angeles and brought two kittens for Kathy. For years afterward I got updates on the progress of those kittens and their progeny. Between birth announcements and baby pictures, I felt like an honorary grandma.
Then the mails suddenly stopped. I recently went looking for Kathy, but couldn’t find her. I hope this blog entry makes its way to her and the cat news will resume.
Update: Friends of Kathy found this post. She’s been in touch, she’s fine and she promises to send kitten pictures. Here’s to the power of the internet!