Success Story: Queenie

The Japan Times and Tokyo ARK have given Angels with Fur kind permission to reprint notices regarding pet adoptions (see: potential pets who have been featured on the Angels with Fur site). In addition to requests for adoption, they also publish success stories about pets who find new homes. Here is the latest success story.


Queenie, a calico cat featured twice in The Japan Times’ weekly photo box for animals looking for homes, came to Animal Refuge Kansai’s shelter as a kitten and remained there for nine long years. A gentle, friendly, beautiful cat, Queenie was nonetheless passed over time and time again. Indeed, she seemed fated to live out her life at the ARK shelter without a family to call her own. Her luck, however, took an abrupt turn one day in July, the day Bill and Suzu Murphy picked up their newspaper and decided that Queenie, staying at the time at a foster home in Tokyo, was meant for them. Apparently, the feeling was mutual. Following are excerpts from a letter written by Bill Murphy to the page editor. Bill and Suzu, thank you!

* * *

Actually, I think our adopting Queenie was a stroke of fate. We had just started subscribing to The Japan Times when Queenie’s photo appeared. Suzu and I hadn’t been looking for a cat, but when we saw her sweet photo and read about all she’s been through, our hearts melted and we knew that she would be perfect for us.

From reading Queenie’s story, we knew that she was a special cat. Even though she has been through so much and had been passed over so many times, she has remained happy and affectionate. Because she’s older, we knew she would have the gaman to get through difficulties and will remain a calm and loving cat throughout her future life. Younger cats can be a handful; Queenie is a “lady” that enjoys a quieter lifestyle and doesn’t look to get into mischief all the time.

Coincidentally, we had a trip to Tokyo planned for about a month after we saw Queenie’s photo in JT. The purpose of our trip was to meet Suzu’s niece’s fiance, but after we decided to adopt Queenie, meeting her became just as much of a focus. When we finally met her for the first time at ARK, I picked her up, and she immediately buried her face in my arms. That cemented the bond for me.

I think this little cat knew that we were right for each other, and she was going to put her trust in us. She was remarkably quiet on the long train rides back to Wakayama-ken and actually fell sound asleep for the last leg of the journey.

Since we’ve adopted her, she has more than exceeded our expectations. She adjusted quickly to her new home and is very affectionate with both of us. In the morning she joins me on the tatami while I read the newspaper, and in the evenings she joins us on the sofa to watch TV. (She is the first cat I’ve seen that watches TV.) She “talks”, but she doesn’t mew incessantly or put up any kind of a fuss.

She is friendly with new people, and she isn’t spooked by anything but the vacuum cleaner. She really is an ideal cat. I very much appreciate your thanks for our adopting Queenie, but I think we need to thank Queenie for bringing so much joy into our home.

The real heroes in this story are Briar (who heads the ARK Tokyo branch) and everyone at ARK, and you and The Japan Times. Thank you for everything you do. It’s your dedication to helping unwanted animals find a home that results in happy stories like ours. Kudos and many thanks from Suzu and I.

Our best to you,
Bill & Suzu

Originally published in the Japan Times on Saturday, August 30, 2008. Photo by Yoko Miyao.

Interested in Adopting a Pet?

Please email ARK at tokyoark[at] or call 080-6146-3889 (English) or 080-6517-8913 (Japanese). Tokyo ARK is a nonprofit organization founded by Brit Elizabeth Oliver. It is dedicated to rescuing and rehoming abandoned animals. All animals are vaccinated, neutered, and microchipped. Prospective new owners undergo a screening process.

The Japan Times supports stray and abandoned animals by publishing this photo box every Saturday in the Weekend/People section of the paper. The information is then archived here on the Angels with Fur site one week later, on the following Saturday.

See also: Other potential pets who have been featured on the Angels with Fur site


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