Chronicle of 87-Year-Old Grandmother and Her Beloved Cat

This is an enchanting story of a 87-year-old grandmother and her beloved cat. Get the tissues ready.

Misao Ihara, a 87-year-old resident of Chiba Prefecture in Japan, found a tiny odd-eyed kitten in the shed about 9 years ago. He was born to a stray cat from the farm. Many odd-eyed white cats are deaf, and this kitty didn’t escape that fate. When Misao found him, she named him Fukumaru “in hope that ‘God of fuku’ (good fortune) comes and everything will be smoothed like a ‘maru’ (circle).” (Asian Offbeat)

12 years ago, Misao’s granddaughter Miyoko Ihara, Japanese photographer, started to take photos of her grandmother as part of her project. After her grandfather passed away, Miyoko decided to dedicate a series of photographs of her grandmother to commemorate her life. Since Misao had never taken many photographs when she was young, she was happy to be her granddaughter’s model. In 2003, Miyoko started documenting the chronicle of her grandmother and her beloved cat.

Fast forward to today, Misao and Fukumaru have lived together for about 9 years. Due to old age, Misao is losing hearing and her best furry companion has never been able to hear, but they seem to understand each other just by looking into their eyes.

Despite being in her late 80s, Misao continues to work in the fields, planting and weeding under the open sky, and Fukumaru never leaves her sight. The two are inseparable. There is a strong bond and mutual love that connect them. They don’t have to say much and they are both hard of hearing, but they get each other right away as if they can read each others mind.

“We’ll never be apart!”, says Misao to Fukumaru. (Asian Offbeat) “Both of them live in a tiny world, with dignity, with mutual love. Still today, under the blue sky, Misao and Fukumaru work in the fields and in these natural surroundings, where they shine like the stars.”

Source:, fotomen, Asian Offbeat. Photos by Miyoko Ihara

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74 Responses to “Chronicle of 87-Year-Old Grandmother and Her Beloved Cat”

  1. Cindy says:

    Awesome story. Beautiful pictures.

  2. James says:

    This is extremely beautiful and heartwarming :-)

  3. Melissa says:

    This is incredibly heartwarming and touching. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Sherry says:

    A wonderful story. They are quite a pair. Her cat loves her very much. She does NOT look her age. :-)

  5. Meg says:

    Thank you for the beauty and grace of this loving life story of these two wonderful friends!

  6. Shelly Lyon says:

    Such an example of mutual love and respect. Perfect.

  7. Mr B's Human Mama says:

    What an uplifting story – bless them both!

  8. Ruth says:

    I would buy prints of these pictures, lovely!

  9. Jessica says:

    I cried a little. Those pictures were so cute!! I liked the cat butt and her butt photo the best :)

  10. Maysoun says:

    just beautiful..

  11. Christine says:

    Such a beautiful story! How wonderful to find companionship with each other! :)

  12. Noelia says:

    Such a lovely history!

  13. vix says:

    Such a heart-warming and feel-good story – very best wishes to both of them!

  14. Christine Aspinall says:

    Beautiful story – and two beautiful ‘forever friends’. <3

  15. This is just beautiful. I’m so glad that there are photos, it makes me think we need to capture more of these moments. :)

  16. Elizabeth Craig says:

    What a lovely story! Those photos are so very touching, and the grandmother just looks so cute! This made my day.

  17. julecm1 says:

    Beautiful, lovely, inspiring, heart-warming.

  18. Jazzpjd says:

    granddaughter should make a book of this- it would sell.

  19. nolruck says:

    such a beautiful story…touching my heart
    and also made this worl more beautiful!…thanks for share

  20. Anna says:


  21. Shinta says:

    Beautiful story…. ^^

  22. Lauren says:

    How beautiful! They truly love and understand each other. Cat and human, doing everything together, and in sync. :) And oh my goodness, that is the cutest cake I have ever seen! I would not want to eat it…

  23. marley says:

    Just gorgeous! I would love to see updates on them.

  24. Angelique says:

    I love this story and the pictures are so cute.

  25. Karen says:

    Such a wonderful story of these two beautifully suited companions…love it!

  26. Kay says:

    There IS a book of these photos, I’ve seen it :)

  27. nnua says:

    These are wonderful photos, I love them!!!

  28. CATkins says:

    A wonderful heart warming story. These photos made me laugh out loud and cry at the same time (the paw on hand photo set me off!) Thank You for sharing these photos with us Miyoko – your Grandmother is an amazing lady!

  29. Kimberly says:

    This is so sweet. Very touching

  30. pumbie says:

    What enhancing story, many more years for both!.

  31. Dorothy says:

    Beautiful story, beautiful photos.

  32. siew eng says:

    well-matched pair, as cute as can be. the grandma recycled her party hat for her two birthdays in a row! yeah, that cake looks as delightful as her cat. enchanting.

  33. Yuki says:

    Two beautiful souls and kitty is such a good company for grandma. Very touching pictures.

  34. Bianca Rey says:

    Great photos for a beautiful friendship

  35. Aida Said-McGwoan says:

    Beautiful story and beautiful pictures to go with it…. my favorite picture is the one of grandma’s hand and kitty’s paw together… love it!!!!

  36. della says:

    Wonderful idea by the granddaughter and a great way to spend time together. The pictures are wonderful.

  37. Hanna says:

    What a beautiful story :).

    You can see their bond reflected in the pictures, what good friends!

  38. Frh says:

    Really touch my heart to see those pictures, they are so lovely! adorable, how they care each other so much. Thank for posting, i’m waiting more for the warm hearted pictures.

  39. Wei says:

    I can feel the love between grandmother & cat in every single picture.

  40. marley says:

    Such heartwarming pictures. I can see the love between them in every shot. Very moving.

  41. Tucker says:



    TO COME!!

  42. Thane says:

    This cat is my second favorite Maru of all time. It is a very touching story, and I have a lot of admiration for the grandmother, as well as the granddaughter chronically this wonderful relationship.

  43. Thane says:

    er, I meant to say capturing this wonderful relations. Excellent photography.

  44. Kathy says:

    What an amazing and heartwarming story of what true love and bonding is all about. I wish both of them many more loving years together. Thinking rationally though, the kitty may very well outlive her owner, and I think it’s important to know what her wishes are for her beloved cat after she dies. Who will take care of the kitty? Or is this a possible situation where it would be best to euthanize the cat so that they can both be buried together–forever?

  45. Mary says:

    I went to Miyoko Ihara’s page and there were more picutes of her grandma there. Like someone said, her granddaughter should make a book.

  46. Danie says:

    Yep, I cried a little. This is the sweetest thing. It makes me happy to know such a sweet companionship exists in the world!

  47. Chaz says:

    Each of these photos is either enchanting, humorous, poignant, just great photography, or all of the above. What a joyous story. The birthday cake theme was very thoughtful. Grandmother, granddaughter and gorgeous kitty are all blessed.

  48. glinda says:

    so very heartwarming; thank you for publishing this.

  49. Tranquility spanning the gap with our furry family members. Beautiful

  50. Iffat says:

    True love! What a connection they have, just like me & my girl. I love the cat cake!

  51. keenpetite says:

    My late husband lived in Japan for over 3 yrs, he used to tell me about how special Japanese are, Grandma has that quality & the bond between Misao & Fukumaru highly shows the mutual love, dignity that says “together furever”
    Kudos to her grandaughter Miyoko & yes, a book needs to be written about this extraordinary pair.
    Southeast Arizona (USA)

  52. Jessie says:

    :) Awww! How sweet! I hope they’ll always be together!<3

  53. Jimmy says:

    True love! Smile and tears comes in one time.

  54. Moe says:

    I truly felt that beautiful warm feeling in my heart at the magnificent photos of those two close friends. I wish them happiness for the years to come. Their love is incredible!

  55. monica says:

    that is the most amazing group of pictures I have had the honor of looking at. Misao and Fukumaru make the most adorable “couple” and I hope they are together for many many more years. and what an eye the granddaughter has… stunning photos!!

  56. JR says:

    What a wonderful life for both. the pictures tell of a love of life and each other. the fur baby is beautiful as is grandma.

  57. Jan says:

    A Beautiful story of a beautiful woman and her cat!

  58. Winston says:

    This is so adorable

  59. lilian says:

    You are so kind, gentle, caring and LUCKY lady. She is so beautiful, a credit to your TLC God bless you BOTH xxxxxxx

  60. Mary says:

    2 beautiful souls that found peace with one another! Thanks for sharing!

  61. nuomineko says:

    Beautiful, heartwarming story. And beautiful pictures! Wishing Misao, Fukumaru, and Miyoko many more happy healthy years ahead!

  62. Fabi says:

    i would definitely buy prints/book! it is so touching and warm! beautiful pictures

  63. Brian L. says:

    That’s a very beautiful story. Thanks for sharing! It’s stories like this one that can add great warmth to your life.

  64. Anya says:

    So very heartwarming – the photos are just so special.

  65. Enchntress says:

    Stunning pictures!! So beautiful, the bond between humans and their soul-mates, errr, I mean fur-mates. 😀

  66. What a lovely story! Thanks for sharing all those fabulous pictures <3

  67. Jeri says:

    Beautiful is all I can say while drying the tears of happiness from my eyes. Thank you for sharing this. :-)

  68. indee says:

    omgosh i am overwhelmed with love and joy at these photos and the wonderful story of this companionship. Hoping these two have many years ahead to share their love for each other. Thank you for sharing.
    God bless.

  69. Black says:

    What a lovely story. I hope they live and love for many more years :)

  70. Molly says:

    That kitty loves her mamma <3 :

  71. AYD says:

    damn ninjas cutting onions in front of my eyes


  72. Casandraelf says:

    these two are so cute together ^^

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