by Heather Russell

A Cat who Dresses Up in Tarako, Mushroom, and Wasabi… the Latest Twitter-Famous Kitten from Japan!

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Do you know about a kitten from Japan, who’s famous for dressing up in a tarako (Japanese salted cod roe), a shimeji mushroom, and a wasabi plant? Her name is Wasabi-chan, and she is all the rage in Japanese Twitter community now.

At first, the photo is just kind of funny and cute. But there’s a reason why she dresses up in these seemingly uncomfortable outfits. This is a very touching story about the encounter of Wasabi-chan and her current owner @jessiepon. I’d like to share the owners’ tweets in English to reveal reasons behind this photo!

Everything Started from Here

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June 2nd, 2013

@jessiepon: “I heard a horrible cry of a kitten, getting attacked by crows in front of my house. I immediately rescued her and brought her to the vet. Crows have eaten inside of the kitten’s mouth, to the point she can’t drink milk on her own. The vet had to insert a catheter directly into her stomach to feed the kitten. Her initial body weight: 210g.”

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June 8th, 2013

@jessiepon: “We’ve been feeding her milk in every 4 hours. Her body weight is now 274g! “

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@jessiepon“Our kitten does not poop everyday. The vet said I don’t have to be worried about it, but still!”

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June 9th, 2013

@jessiepon“Good morning! Today’s photo of the kitten <3 After the catheter feeding this morning, I wiped her face, and the scabs fell off. She looks beautiful! She couldn’t even open her left eye when I first found her, but now she can raise her eyelid gradually. Her tongue is torn up in half, so sometimes it hangs out of her mouth like this… ^^;”

 Then, the First Time the Kitten Appeared in a Baby Covering

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June 11th, 2013

@jessiepon“Today’s photo! When I was taking lice out around her eyes, I heard her purr for the first time!  Her upper jaw is fractured, so it’s still bleeding a little. She is taking antibiotics, anti-inflammatory analgesic, and intestinal medication now.

“Also, we finally named her. Her name is ‘Wasabi-chan’ and she’s a girl. (*´艸`*)”

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June 12th, 2013

@jessiepon“Thank you for all the support and kind messages! Wasabi-chan is improving a lot, she started nibbling her front paws today.”
“Her body weight is now 300g!”

 

Then, this Photo was Uploaded, Making Wasabi-chan a Super Famous Kitten on Twitter

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June 15th, 2013

@jessiepon“She tries to fight back whenever we feed her with the catheter, so Granny made her this outfit to make sure she eats. A “tarako” Wasabi. Tomorrow we’ll go to the clinic again!”
*Tarako is a salted cod roe in Japan. It looks like this. 
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This particular tweet/photo got more than 20,000 retweets, to the owner’s surprise!
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…to the point that several Wasabi-chan “fans” made a Wasabi-chan stamp, Wasabi-chan felt plush toy, to show their support for the kitten.

Wasabi-chan Show Improvement in Her Health

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June 17th, 2013

@jessiepon“Wasabi-chan is very fortunate to have such warm responses from everyone! Today, we started her litter training, but as you can see, Wasabi-chan is not so interested in it… ʅ(‾◡◝ ა)ʃ”

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June 19th, 2013

@jessiepon“Toay’s Wasabi-chan! After the catheter-feeding at 4AM, she threw up her food. It’s because we increased the amount of milk today. Now she is fine, plays well and sleeps well.”

 

The New Outfit – Shimeji Mushroom

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June 20th, 2013

@jessiepon“Granny’s new hand-made piece! This is Wasabi-chan in a shimeji mushroom cover. We’ll start the catheter-feeding with this new outfit today!”

“Also, here is Wasabi’s profile: Used to be a stray cat / possibly quintuplets / female / initial weight: 210g (minus weight of lice)  / favorite thing: Granny / hates: catheter-feeding and mouth checkup / friend: stuffed mouse.”

Around this time, some people complained that putting a kitten in an outfit like this is an animal abuse, which drove the owner into having her Twitter account private. Clearly, these people have no idea why and for what reasons the owner makes Wasabi-chan dress up in it. It’s not for fun, but for feeding the kitten without her fighting back. Sudden movements can end up suffocating the kitten or hurting her throat/stomach! Luckily, @jessiepon opened up the account to public again.

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June 30th, 2013

 @jessiepon “It’s the first time Wasabi was able to poop by herself! Coincidentally, we have to bring a stool sample to the clinic today. Thank you for your help, Wasabi!”

Wasabi-chan Sends a Message to the World with Her Wasabi Plant Outfit

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July 1st, 2013

 @jessiepon“It’s been a month since I met Wasabi-chan! Thank you for everyone’s support. I made this photo to pray for the wellness and happiness of all pets in the world.”

 

She gets along with other members of the family too!

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(@jessiepon also has a dog and a parrot, and they are friends! how cute!)

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That is it for me to share the story of Wasabi-chan! I felt very warm in my heart as I saw the dedication @jessiepon showed to the kitten. You can check the rest of the photos and daily updates of Wasabi-chan from @jessiepon’s Twitter account or her Instagram!

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