Cats of BGC

Cats of BGC

October 30, 2017

The day that I considered one of the uncanny and most memorable days of my life.

Not only because it’s payday for a 9-to-5 has a girl like me… almost no heavy traffic, though with a little rain shower, but tolerable.

For some unknown reason, I and my bestie Lexa had some cravings for kiddie foods, so we went to Jollibee at Mind Museum for dinner. We talked about some girl stuffs, work, family, adulting, etc. – the usual happy time together (geez we missed our friend Shi who’s now in Singapore!).

At around 8:09PM after our dinner, we decided to cross the street and head to Bonifacio High Street. I wasn’t in my usual stylish or glam look, so I let my bestie have her usual OOTD photos since the garden is so luscious and beautiful. It’s hard to ignore them.

After a few shots, and felt satisfied with her poses (LOL) we continued our walk.

Then, we are greeted with these cute cats of BGC (Bonifacio Global City)!

I remember it’s been two years of wondering, who exactly takes care of them.

Cats of BGC

Bonifacio Global City I knew as one of the pet-friendly cities here in Manila, and it’s a regular scene that you see many residents walking their pets (well, mostly dogs). Then for the past years, I’ve seen stray cats hanging out, sitting in the cafes, playing with by-standers, etc. – but they have no owners.
I started to gain interest in these stray cats in 2016 and even posted some photos with them using the hashtag #catsofBGC.

Cats of BGC

Cats of BGC

I find that they aren’t harmful. Because if they are, I guess the guard has already shooed them away.

One time, I have a chit-chat with this BGC guard. He said that most of these stray cats are intentionally bringing here in Bonifacio High Street to get lost when they are still kittens. Eventually, they learned to survived and live and breed here.

My heart was broken after hearing this. (typing this story makes me cry like a baby)

How could these humans do such a thing to these creatures!!!!

But only stray cats? Is there are instances that there are also stray dogs?

Mr. Guard told me, yes it happens that some former owners abandoned their dogs, but they (guards) immediately reported it to animal pound. They said that dogs tend to be much harmful than cats.

So after we talked, I gained more respect from BGC guards. They are one of the good people, with a good heart for stray animals.

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These stray cats survived through the charity of some bystanders, visitors, and business owners who gave them cat foods, so they wouldn’t jump or snatched guests’ foods.

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Going back with my friend, we are so thrilled to be greeted by them! We felt like a little celebrity for cats, LOL

Cats of BGC

They are so thrilled to see us, which made me wonder if they have already eaten.

Suddenly, we heard a whistling sound and the cats run faster. We decided to follow them and saw this…


Cats of BGC

A mysterious man is feeding them!

He seems very familiar with them, so we decided to stop for a while, and observe what he’s doing until we decided to talk with him.

*****

Meet Mr. Ochi



We decided to sit with him and talked, and he shyly shared his story.

He was recently got jobless and homeless, and when we went here to Bonifacio Global City, he felt the responsibility to take care of these stray cats. Feeling that they were in quite similar situations, he decided to help them.

During day time, he leaves his belonging at the mall and tries to find a job. During the nighttime, he comes back and feeds them all.

Cats of BGC

He gladly introduced us to his friends, especially to the head of the pack (whom he described have a possessive character). He said that we can touch and play with them coz they are harmless (unless they sensed some danger with humans which is normal to their nature).

For months, this is what he does. Just like his friends, he relies on the good heart of the BGC people who gave him food for himself and for the cats as well. He also shared with us about Mimi, a kind-hearted Australian woman who works in BGC, and is currently the cats’ benefactor. He told us that as much as Mimi likes to adopt them all, she can’t because pets are not allowed in her condo.

Mimi gave him his name Ochi because according to her, he looks like a Japanese.

We didn’t further ask his real name, coz we respect his privacy.

*****

After almost 30-minutes of conversation, we waved goodbye and continued our walk.

But as we started to move, I realized that there are still good people in this world, and yes, if we want to live in a better community, it is our duty to help.

I asked my bestie that we visit the Marketplace and buy some bags of cat foods for them, and food for Mr. Ochi.

Cats of BGC

I have a good feeling to shop, and it’s okay because it’s my payday!

At least in this simple gesture, I have to give back and share my blessings.

At around 9:18Pm after our shopping, we rushed to go back hoping that Mr. Ochi is still there.

And he is!


Cats of BGC
We gave him our shopping bags and joined him feeding these beautiful cats.

Cats of BGC

We also learned each cat’s behavior, and characters and during their bedtime, each cat will take those lights on the ground us their spot, because they need to get warm during the night.

He also shared that during midnight, when there are almost no people around, there is an occasional cat war, where the alpha male cats’ fight for their turf and their females.

Cats of BGC

This little guy is just patiently waiting a little farther from the pack. Mr. Ochi said he is not allowed to join in by the Alpha Male (the grey possessive cat). I felt sorry for him.

Do you know that there are 34 cats in BGC, and 4 of them are pregnant??!!

Cats of BGC
Then Mr. Ochi invited us to go back to Mind Museum, so we could meet his favorite cat.

*****

Meet Elliot, the most handsome cat


Cats of BGC

This is Elliot.

Mr. Ochi told us he is the most handsome cat here in BGC. He stays here on the grounds of Mind Museum (which serves as his turf), and never bothered to cross the street, and goes to another turf.

In order to see Elliot, you have to shout his name, and he will approach you!

Cats of BGC

Indeed, he is handsome!

His fur is so clean and so white, has no scratches, and has that distinct black patch on his nose. He is quite bigger than a regular cat, and just like the others, the city has adopted them.

Mimi (the Australian cat benefactor) also loves Elliot a lot!

Cats of BGC

Both of us felt so relieved that someone is taking care of them. But that is only temporary.

Mr. Ochi is trying to look for a job, and he is worried about his furry friends.

I asked him if I could share his story online, and hope we could help him and his friends. Am glad he agreed.

With a person like Mr. Ochi with a kind heart and compassion for the needy, I know that he is a good man, and if any one of you would like to help him to get a job, please do.

This is a good one, and definitely worth your time.

*****

Cats of BGC
Oops! Last Sunday 29th of October is International Cats Day!

What a great coincidence!

PS.

Mr. Ochi told us that he got a memo from the next building (Shangri-La) informing him of plans to eradicate these cats because they believe it damages the whole aesthetics of the hotel grounds and the nearby park.

I felt heartbroken. How can they think such a thing for these creatures?!

If it’s true, am also one of the few people who will feel sad if they will be removed here.

Hope I see him again one of these days, and maybe I could help him to create a decent resume for him to use for his work hunting.

*****

When I arrived home, I posted his video clip on my IG and Facebook Page, hoping that we could get some help for him and for these cute cats.
Gladly, the video got a positive response and one lady message me this:

Cats of BGC
I will try to track Mr. Ochi and hopefully to see him again to give him this good news! Truly there are still many good people around.

But yes, not all people coz this guy has his different opinion:
Cats of BGC
What an ass!

*****

I don’t see these cats as destroyers… I see them as already part of the community, which gives us joy after a long busy, and stressful day!

Seeing them surrounding Mr. Ochi reminds me of that Cat Island in Japan, which is now gaining attention from many tourists and locals. As you all know, Japan is obsessed with cats! Have you read about the famous cat station master, Tama? (rest in peace Tama)

Some of the towns in Japan famous for cat communities are the Enoshina in Kanagawa Prefecture, Okishima in Shiga Prefecture, Sanagishima in Kagawa Prefecture, Aoshima in Ehime Prefecture, Muzukijima also in Ehime, Manabeshima in Okayama Prefecture, the Iwaishima in Yamaguchi Prefecture, in Aijima Fukuoka Prefecture, and in Genkaishima also in Fukuoka Prefecture.

These communities live with huge packs of cats like one community!

Cats of BGC

Do you know that in Chinese and Japanese culture, both cultures believe that cats are depicted as a good luck charm?

Japanese people have had long relationships with cats for more than 1000 years. People from the upper and lower class were already living with cats. There are shrines that worship cats as gods across Japan and cats have also played a part in folk beliefs through the ages.

If you love the Hello Kitty character, then why not have a short time downtime with this beautiful # catsofBGC

Cats of BGC

And if you are around Bonifacio Global City, or want to visit these beautiful cats, please come and bring some bags of cat foods for them.

They don’t eat leftover human foods, which is better because it’s not good for them.

If you want to experience feeding them, please do!

The guards are so nice to allow visitors to feed them, as long as they won’t litter.

So if you are visiting, please bring empty containers for their foods, water, and bring your cleaning materials to clean up after you feed them.

Any kind of help will do.



Have you encountered them once? Please share your thoughts below our comment section. I would like to read your ideas and stories!

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27 comments :

  1. Hi, I want to contact Ochi for this. This is Sheila by the way of WhenInManila.com and an animal advocate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Sheila,

      Mr. Ochi doesn't have a contact number. But he said he is always at High Street, next to Shangri-La. We saw him last Monday at around 8PM.

      Delete
  2. oh no...despite that he lost his job..he still feeding the cats..soo sad..huhuhu

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  3. This guy really have a big heart. I don't like animal like cat near me but I do feed some strays near my house.

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  4. what a good job to feed the cats. here has plenty stray cats too, some pet shop feed the cats outside their shop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cats are intelligent pets. And they are so sweet too!

      Delete
  5. cute cats, i can see you love them very much. Loads of cat food for them too! :D

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha yeah. Actually I love cats because they give good luck to my life. I've noticed it for many years.

      Delete
  6. Thanks for sharing the story of the cats and Mr Ochi. I do pray that he will get a job soon and will be able to save the lil' furry friends.

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  7. Wow that was really heartwarming. Helping others even animals is such a great thing to do, we can find happiness by helping who are in need. great Job and keep it up!

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  8. Wah... so nice of you buying them food. I love kitty too and hope more people can be as helpful as you

    Racheal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Buying them foods is just a small amount for me, but it gives huge joy for them and also for me.

      Delete
  9. Mr Ochi is so kind and may God bless him for his thoughtfulness.. these cats also deserve food...

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  10. Mr Ochi is so kind and may God bless him for his thoughtfulness.. these cats also deserve food...

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    Replies
    1. Am thinking of pulling a crowdfunding for them. Still on a planning process and hope I could push it before December.

      Delete
  11. What a generous man Ochi is. Let's hope that he finds a regular job soon so that he can support himself and his cause.

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  12. You and your friends do a good deeds. May lord blessed you guys. Stray cat too piety. Some time no food to eat and end up died. What you did a good that should be example to other.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ika! We are actually thinking of spending a little cats party with them soon :D

      Delete
  13. Pls past this on to that guy Sanders, who must have been hiding under a rock and has not yet heard of TNR - https://www.caraphil.org/mainsite/2017/05/19/how-the-trap-neuter-release-tnr-program-works/#.Woq3700UnmQ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your support!

      Unfortunately, we can't please everyone. There are people who doesn't like cats.

      Delete

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