Big Mama and Fukumaru the Cat  | Photographer: Miyoko IHARA | BLACK AND WHITE |

Here’s a tale of friendship and love that will warm your heart and put a smile on your face.


In all started 12 years ago when Miyoko Ihara first started to take candid photographs of her grandmother Misa. She wanted to document Misa’s life, her routine, passion and hobbies to share with future generations.

One day Misa found a tiny kitten in one of her garden sheds – to this day nobody knows how the bi-colored kitten got there, but Misa lovingly gave her a home and the name ‘Fukumaru’ – a Japanese reference to good fortune and peace. 8 years on, Fukumaru is her loyal companion ever by her side (except when perched up high on a pole!) and keeping the 87-year-old company.


You can instantly feel the warmth, love, friendship and affection both Fukumaru and Misa have for one another from Miyoko’s exquisite  photographs. Both cat and owner suffer from poor hearing, but it matters little, as these images highlight – you don’t always need words to express how you feel.