A decade ago, Sakae Kato stayed behind to rescue cats abandoned by neighbors who fled the radiation clouds belching from the nearby Fukushima nuclear plant. He would not leave.
Sakae Kato lies in bed next to Charm, a cat who he rescued five years ago who is infected with feline leukemia virus, at his home in a restricted zone in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, Feb. 20, 2021.
“I want to make sure I am here to take care of the last one,” he said from his home in the contaminated quarantine zone. “After that I want to die, whether that be a day or hour later.”
Cats that were rescued by Sakae Kato, rest in a cage at Kato's home, in a restricted zone in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, Feb. 20, 2021.
So far he has buried 23 cats in his garden, the most recent graves were disturbed by wild boars that roam the depopulated community. He is looking after 41 others in his home and another empty building on his property.
Sakae Kato plays with cats that he rescued, called Mokkun and Charm, who are both infected with feline leukemia virus, at his home, in a restricted zone in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, Feb. 20, 2021.
Kato leaves food for feral cats in a storage shed he heats with a paraffin stove. He has also rescued a dog, Pochi. With no running water, he has to fill bottles from a nearby mountain spring, and drive to public toilets.
An animal rescue activist holds a bowl of bait that is used to trap and rescue abandoned feral cats, in a restricted zone in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, Feb. 21, 2021.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.