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December 17, 2013 at 4:39 PMComments: 3 Faves: 0

Kitten Hood: Man Steals $185,000 Worth of Cash and Jewels, Spends it On Stray Cats

By Erin Froehlich More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Feline 101 Blog Series

After a yearlong spree, “Kitten Hood,” Mamoru Demizu is being charged with 32 counts of burglary he committed not for personal gain or greed, but to feed the 120 cats he cared for. Does this context change the crime? Should it change the punishment? What do you think?

According to police sources, Demizu began taking in stray cats in 1993 and gradually accumulated more until he reached his current total of 20 cats in 2001. Most people would agree - that’s a lot of cats to take care of, but as he explained on his arrest, they were everything to him. “He said he felt happiest when he rubbed his cheek against a cat.” police told reporters.  

In fact, these cats were so precious to Demizu, even premium prepared cat food wasn’t good enough for them in his mind. While they were once homeless, his kitties now dined on only fresh, human-grade fish and chicken and relaxed in their own spacious kitty digs. To accommodate their space needs, Demizu actually rented them their own warehouse - and that’s just for the kitties he affectionately referred to as “Ie no koneko,” his house kitties.

After caring for those 20, Demizu started riding his motorized scooter around the city each night to look for hungry ferals  - and he spared no expense for these cats either. The feral cats he found living at parks, playgrounds, and in alley ways of western Japan recieved the same luxury diet his house kitties enjoyed. In the end, in addition to the 20 he was already caring for, he was delivering food to 100 feral cats each night - and  yet through the years from 1993 to 2001(despite some neighbors complaining of the yowling cats he attracted), he managed just fine inside the law.

Then he lost his job.

While many people in his same situation would surrender cats to a shelter, stop feeding the ferals, and certainly, at least, switch to an economy diet, Demizu couldn’t bring himself to abandon them or see their quality of living lowered because of his bad luck.  In desperation, he began borrowing great sums of money to sustain his cat’s luxury diet, and when he could no longer borrow? He resorted to stealing cash, jewelry and other valuables from neighborhood homes.

According to officers, Demizu was close to losing his own home when he was finally caught. Confessing to all charges, Demizu told officers he had tried to take on too many cats by himself and gotten in over his head. No word yet on what repercussions he might be facing or what will become of the 120 cats he had been caring for.


Huffington Post: Mamoru Demizu, Japanese man, Accused of $185,000 Burglary Spree To Feed 120 Cats Gourmet Diet 

Mirror: Unemployed burglar went on £ 115,000 crime spree to feed 120 CATS gourmet food

YouTube: Japanese “cat burglar: stole in the name of feline love

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  • This guy probably needs to go to the loony bin not prison

  • I'm not a big fan of the term "loony bin," but yeah, I think therapy and some sort of deal where he works off that debt (because even though it was for a good cause, I don't deserve to have things stolen from my home) would be the most logical and beneficial way to go for all concerned.

  • Ahhh. what a sad situation. While I would never condone the criminal aspect of what he did, it's a Robin Hood story benefiting the cats. I can't help admire this man's compassion for the animals. I can only imagine his torment if he is incarcerated and his precious cats are left to suffer. I hope the legal system is gentle on him, and I hope other caring and understanding, compassionate animal advocates will help him make restitution.

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