If you are an extreme cat lover who visits every cat cafe in every city you are in, who buys every cat product out there, who can’t wait to get home to nap with your cat; then you really have to go to Japan –especially to Neco Republic.
This building houses rescue cats with which visitors can interact. It also has a cat cafe and bar, a store that offers cat-themed products, a place called “Cat and Bed and Book” in which you can read a book lying on a bed with a cat next to you, and soon they will open a working space too.
Right now there are three Neco Republic’s in Japan: in Tokyo, in Gifu and in Osaka; although the plan is to establish locations all over the country. This branch complex aims to develop a large presence in the public by expanding into multiple locations. Their goal: rescue cats, public education and end “euthanasia” of abandoned cats. Their way to achieve that: through a proper business.
They started by raising money through online crowdfunding, which they continue to use in addition to accepting donations. However, their main source of income are the visitors and the products they sell. According to the company’s representative, Asaka Kawase,
“If we depend only on donations, our funding resources for rescue operations would be unstable. For as long as we are dealing with these precious lives, we have the responsibility to operate continuously and it is essential to have an arrangement under which we can be sure of securing funding”
All of the cats that live there were rescued by volunteer rescue organizations and they are all up for adoption. However, the adoption process requires that the person interested fills out a form, gets a guarantor, passes an inspection and a two-week trial period. It may seem strict but they want to make sure that the cats won’t end up abandoned again, which is what brought them there in the first place.
It really seems like an incredible project. I’m sure many more cats will be saved and that makes it totally worth it. Don’t you think?