Cat Comes Into Elderly Man’s Life And Changes It For The Better

Grandpa Jiji and Kinako the cat share a special bond, which is captured in the beautiful photos taken by Jiji's granddaughter.

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Kinako the cat brought life back into Grandpa Jiji. Via Akiko DuPont/Facebook
Stephanie Brown

Spending time with animals can combat loneliness, reduce stress and, quite frankly, just make you happy. They change our lives for the better.

An elderly man in Japan is experiencing the benefits of having a pet firsthand, thanks to his granddaughter.

After a trip to the hospital in 2009, Akiko DuPont’s grandfather — a once outgoing man — gradually lost interest in life and “became grumpier than ever,” she wrote in a post on Bored Panda.

Couch time. Via Akiko DuPont/Facebook

That’s when the documentary photographer decided to get a cat for her grandfather, whom she refers to only as Jiji. And it changed everything.

“An extraordinary friendship gradually grew between the two,” DuPont wrote. “Who would have thought that a timid kitten would befriend a grumpy old man!”

So much joy! Via Akiko DuPont/Facebook

DuPont captures their beautiful bond in her photo project, Jiji and Kinako. Whether relaxing on the couch or reading the paper, Kinako the cat is always by Jiji’s side, and it’s clear Jiji loves his feline companion dearly.

Head butts mean “I love you.” Via Akiko DuPont/Bored Panda

“Kinako melted Jiji’s heart,” DuPont wrote.

And they have melted ours.

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  • Wonderful story💖💖💖💖

    Janet livesey May 31, 2017 1:22 am Reply
  • ♥.

    Roberta-OH, CP May 31, 2017 2:07 am Reply
  • Awwww! What a really BEAUTIFUL story! May our Heavenly Father bless this special friendship. Love and blessings to Jiji and Kinako! xo xo xo xo xo xo

    Wendye Kolles May 31, 2017 3:49 am Reply
    • Amen! x

      karen May 31, 2017 8:32 am Reply
  • Lovely. A very good example of how our lives may be enhanced, in all stages, by our fur friends.

    Brenda May 31, 2017 5:57 am Reply
  • love this- how great animals are when we let them be- nature and science are wonderful – all credit to nature science and a good human

    FoolforHope May 31, 2017 6:58 am Reply
  • God I love stories like this! It is truly amazing what animals bring to our lives… They improve our moods, they improve our health and so many times they give us more than our daily requirement of humour. They are very much a blessing!
    I hope these two have long and happy, healthy lives together!

    JDavidS May 31, 2017 7:33 am Reply
  • I just LOVE a happy ending! ❤❤❤❤

    Amanda Stonebank May 31, 2017 7:36 am Reply
  • Really nice story for her grandfather. But what happens to the cat when this man passes away. I am happy this cat was able to help this man. I have a problem when animals are being used to help people without a thought for their well-being. I would have loved the story if it was about a timid senior cat that helped this man.

    kat fancy May 31, 2017 8:49 am Reply
    • Given that the cat has helped this man so much, I can’t imagine Akiko not taking care of the cat if it outlives her grandfather. We can’t just assume it will be left to fend for itself or dumped at a shelter.

      JSH May 31, 2017 9:34 am Reply
      • I”m in cat rescue and have seen way too much. I assume nothing and tell others to do the same.

        kat fancy May 31, 2017 12:17 pm Reply
  • How I just love this story. I am so happy for JIji and how Kinako helped him to be happy. Both are well loved 🙂

    Sandy Sundquist May 31, 2017 10:27 am Reply
  • Love it! More evidence of the power of animals!

    Jen H May 31, 2017 10:52 am Reply
  • This is why, in my city, which has a lot of elderly people living alone, we have been campaigning for years to allow the elderly to have one small pet, be it a cat, dog, bird or fish. Believe it or not in government subsidized housing they will not even allow a canary or a goldfish?? WTF! How noisy can a goldfish be? I think this is so cruel.

    kate sarginson May 31, 2017 11:06 am Reply
    • A dear friend of mine had a group devoted to just that cause, and she/they/we were successful in getting ordinances passed to allow this to happen in L.A. This was years ago. I always remember my friend, who has since passed, with gratitude for her important work on this issue. All communities need this to occur. Family isn’t just about human beings — it’s about all of those we love and share our lives with, and no one should have the right to separate families or tell us whom we can and cannot share our lives with!

      jmuhj May 31, 2017 11:14 am Reply
      • Totally agree. For people with disabilities a cat is a perfect pet. Calm, warm and loving. It gives comfort when people are feeling lonely and sad. For those who can walk but ‘have nowhere to go’ having a small dog to walk is perfect. It gets them out in the fresh air, getting the exercise they need to keep active and also is a great social boost as we all know everyone stops to pet a dog or comment on them. Just having that animal is reason for people to pull themselves out of bed to feed and care for them. If they don’t have a reason a lot of elderly lonely people just try to sleep all day or sleep in front of the TV which becomes company for them. I don’t understand why our government cannot get that through their thick stupid heads. I am so glad your friend was able to get those laws pass in your area. I am sure older people are much happier for it. Congratulations to all who worked so hard on the project.

        kate sarginson May 31, 2017 12:13 pm Reply
    • I live in a senior housing – HUD – building. pets ARE allowed and it is so-so sad that these elderly people have a misconception of pets. they do not “want the responsibility.” without even thinking of the benefits. YES, our feline and canine companions are definitely a responsibility. the benefits far outweigh any responsibility that I can think of, BUT we have a bunch of crotchety, old people who HATE that others have pets. SAD – BEYOND SAD !!!

      lisa63 May 31, 2017 2:49 pm Reply
      • This is true, but there can be solutions. I go around and help elderly people care for their cats – changing litter and grooming. It’s really doing a small thing that can bring lots of enjoyment to others.

        KatWrangler May 31, 2017 2:56 pm Reply
  • Cats, more than any other beings, connect to what is best in us and give the unconditional loyalty and love we so need. *There was a Kinoko in our family. She was part of a beloved couple who shared the life of a dear friend of mine and when the friend passed, they became part of our family.*

    jmuhj May 31, 2017 11:11 am Reply
  • Cats have an amazing subtle, healing energy that can truly change lives.
    I wish many happy days for Grandpa Jiji and Kinako ❤❤❤ Such a beautiful story.
    My elderly Great Aunt came to visit for a while, and she was also a very bitter person, and NOT a cat lover.
    Our cat Mooch made her smile again. They could be found on the couch, cuddled up, while Aunti M read. Mooch was awesome ❤

    KatWrangler May 31, 2017 3:22 pm Reply
  • Got to love grandpa with his new kitty

    suz May 31, 2017 3:36 pm Reply
  • Beautiful photographs, beautiful, loving relationship!

    defiant1 May 31, 2017 3:39 pm Reply
  • These pictures are fantastic! The bond between humans and animals is so special and enriches both!

    Nanci Merczel May 31, 2017 5:56 pm Reply

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