Japan: Cat returns home three years after tsunami

Suika the cat returns home Suika the cat returns home

A cat has been reunited with his owners three years after going missing in the devastating Japanese tsunami, it is reported.

Suika, a black short-haired feline, lived with Kazuko Yamagishi and her husband Takeo in Ofunato, north-eastern Iwate Prefecture, until the tsunami struck on 11 March 2011, Asahi Shimbun newspaper reports. While the Yamagishi home escaped devastation - unlike the rest of the town - their cat was nowhere to be seen. The couple searched for Suika for three months before giving up hope.

But on 10 April another couple spotted a black cat curled up in a nearby pine forest. He was friendly and wore a collar, and they took it to the Ofunato Health Centre. After several days nobody had claimed the cat, so the centre put an announcement in a local paper. It was when an employee was taking a photo of the cat that he noticed the Yamagishi name and number in faded letters on the collar.

"Where have you been?" Kazuko Yamagishi asked her long-lost pet when they were reunited. "It's just like a dream," she said. It is not clear how Suika survived the ordeal, but a bell on his collar suggests someone else took care of him while he was away.

Kazuko and Takeo Yamagishi hold their cat Suika Kazuko and Takeo Yamagishi get to hold their cat Suika after three years

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