Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Box

Day 230: Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Before I went to bed this evening, I let Willy outside. As soon as I got under the covers and turned off the light, Ian knocked on my door and said there was a tanuki outside in our trash. I got up and he told me that he heard some weird noises and that it had to be the same tanuki that he saw a week before. I got my camera, went with him to the veranda, and then looked down. It was dark, so we couldn’t really see that well, but we could tell that our trashcan was shut tight. We kept looking around and then we noticed something strange. There was a white sheet below. At first we assumed that it must have been fallen laundry, but then after we confirmed that none of us had done the laundry that day, we realized that it wasn’t ours. After our eyes adjusted to the darkness some more, we could make out that the sheet was covering something- actually it was more like hiding something... and then a chill crawled up our spines. Underneath the sheet was something rectangular and box-shaped- like a kid’s coffin. We went downstairs, opened the front door, and went outside to check.

There it was... our little baby coffin. Before lifting the sheet up to see what it was, I took a photo of it with my flash. All of a sudden a middle-aged lady came from out of nowhere, apologized, reached under our chain-link fence and then pulled the mysterious object out from our property. We confronted her, lifted up the sheet and saw that it was a long cage with pet food in it. We asked her what she was doing and she said that she was from animal rescue, explaining that she goes to parks and catches stray cats and brings them to some place warm and safe. When we asked her what she was doing putting traps in our property, she just kept repeating that she was from animal rescue like a broken record without really answering our question. She then mentioned that her partner was around the corner, so we followed her. Ian, Yuki and I all began to worry because Willy was outside somewhere without a collar on and I had just let her out right before the two women came.

We followed her down Hayato’s alley, and then to our right, we saw a dark figure hunched in between two houses with a cage looking like a burglar. When she saw us, she ran the other way, and we ran after her. When we caught up with her, I went over to her and then lifted up the sheet that was covering her cage to see if Willy was there, but it was empty. We kept demanding documents, ID, or a business card but they didn’t have any. Both of them claimed they didn’t have their wallets with them. The original woman seemed to be the boss. The other woman claimed that she had just met her partner yesterday and volunteered because she liked cats. While Yuki interrogated the original woman, the woman kept picking up the phone and calling someone about how many cats that person had caught so far. We kept asking her to shut off her phone so we can finish sorting things out, but she kept ignoring us. After 20 minutes of arguing and getting nowhere, we finally called the police.

After ten minutes of waiting in the cold, four big dudes came- one on a bike and three in a cop car. While the original woman tried to explain herself to the police, the other one kept talking to Yuki in an attempt to sound friendly and unsuspicious. She kept rubbing Yuki’s arm, saying it was cold out. She also mentioned that she lived nearby and had 14 cats.

We asked the police if they needed us any longer and they said they could handle it, so we went back home. Willy was lying on our living room floor fast asleep. When I got back into bed, I laid there thinking about how fucked up those women were and wondered what they were actually going to do with the cats they caught. I then thought about all the cats in our neighborhood. I thought about the black cat with turrets, who sneaks into our house from the kitchen window everyday to steal Willy’s food, the other black cat that lives in the narrow crevice between the two houses across from us, another black cat who blends in with the shadows underneath a white car… Whether they are pests or not, they are all stable characters in my life, and I'd be sad if one day they were taken away.


  1. Sounds like a Murakami plot to me. Glad Willy's fine. :)

  2. Maybe Murakami sent them for revenge.
    I'm glad Willy is okay too!

  3. Sounds like the neighborhood crazy cat ladies. I'm pretty sure that when you have 14 cats in your own house animal rescue visits you, not the other way around.

  4. well said. I think she is full of (cat) shit.

  5. This is clearly racist. I have 5,764 cats.