To increase the awareness for adoption of stray cats, CARE and Junho have put in effort together. At the same time, Junho has already adopted three cats and said that the existence of the cats allowed him to understand how to live his life.
Q: it seems like you are very busy recently. What did you do after the filming of “Wok of Love”?
Junho: after the filming ends, I immediately prepared for my Japan concert tour. After that, I have several other activities as well, it was really a busy period. As I will be holding a concert in Japan during December, I am still as busy now.
Q: you are having your solo concert in Budokan. Did you prepare something special for the concert this time?
Junho: I bring in the thoughts that it will be my life’s last concert and prepare this concert (laughs). If I do not think this way, it seems like I will not be able to unleash my fullest potential, so I made the decision to have such thoughts. The theme of the concert is ‘JUNHO THE BEST’ so I want to portray a stage performance about all my Japanese album releases, not excluding the period of my experiences as well. This includes those fresh songs and singles during our debut period, so the song list will be very filled.
Q: today you are working together with CARE to spread awareness about cat adoption. You are curious about this special photo shoot.
Junho: I actually have some troubles. Personally, I love animals a lot and I follow closely on topics about abandoned animals. Whenever there is a need to interact with animals in filming, I will feel that the animals will feel very tired and I dislike that feeling. I have seen a few instances like this thus maybe that is why I object it more strongly. Even so, the reason why I want to take part in this photo shoot is because I want to use this chance to spread the awareness of abandoned cats. Maybe through this, the stray cats can start living within a new household and I feel this is something I want to spread. Thus, while filming, more will focus on Kaluo (T/N: name of cat as per in Chinese). Ultimately, I am doing it for the children (T/N: Junho always refer cats as children) so I must put in more effort. To be honest, Kaluo is very obedient and I am thankful for it.
Q: you feel like this because you have cats too right?
Junho: that’s why we say cats can identify cat’s jobs. When I hug it in my arms, it produces a ‘hmm-hmm’ sound. At this time, you will feel comforted, maybe say that the cat identified it’s job (laughs).
Q: please introduce the cats in your house.
Junho: Johnny is a cat who has a personality of a dog. When I reach home after work, he will come to welcome me. If I disappear from his sight, he will keep whimpering. From then on, I changed my perspective of cats. People normally say that cats cannot really feel loneliness, but they actually can. They just do not know how to express it. If Johnny does not see me, he is the type who will not eat. Wolie is the type of cat that all of us are familiar with, able to play alone well. A child who likes to be taken care of only when needed and do not disturb the others. Qoo is very curious, always running around the house and messing things up. Feels like the maknae (youngest) type?
Q: what are the charms of the cats?
Junho: personality? Of course, every cat has a different personality but I like those basic type of personality. They will not trouble you but stay by your side often, knows how to use the toilet independently and sometimes just like a child… sometimes I follow what the cats do to me and do it on them. As I start to understand them deeper, I slowly become a dumb for cats (laughs). I want to take care of them even more. But I like the cat’s personality of ‘you are you, I am 1’.
Q: for this photo shoot, did you prepare anything extra?
Junho: unconditionally only focus on Kaluo. Instead of me, I have the thoughts of just wanting Kaluo to look good in the photos, but I think only Kaluo is photographed nicely, I am worried hahaha.
Q: when did you start being interested with ‘the life of sharing’?
Junho: actually, this is something that I have been doing but recently this has crossed path with my work activities thus I think this is how it was noticed. I am not the type who will spread loudly ‘sharing is the best, you must give love while living’. I will do it when I want to. I feel that when helping others, it is ultimately an activity for myself. If whatever I do is able to help the others, or start influencing them, this means that they will help others too. Recently, more people are understanding the idea of ‘life of sharing’. They start mentioning which association they are helping, or friends who started talking more about rescuing animals are increasing. This is really a very fortunate thing.
Q: for those who starts to become interested, do you assist them?
Junho: I will not force them. However, I will tell them that don’t think about the unconditional need to start doing it but instead, once you start doing it, you must determine until the end. Actually, acts of donating and giving have their trends and once it dies down, it will be empty once again. There isn’t a story that is sadder than this. In the perspective of those receiving the aids, it is still a big question if they will continue to be aided. Thus, when I tell people (who are interested), if they are interested to persist on then please start.
Q: it is heard that the number of abandoned cats is increasing. Why do you think this is happening?
Junho: this problem may be due to more people taking care of cats at home when they do not know well about them. To be honest, the fees for cat adoption is very low now. As compared to other countries, it is much cheaper and easier to get access to this service. The cheap adoption fees will cause the value of it to drop and at the same time lead to a lower sense of responsibility. It is the same as those stalls selling small little chicks outside schools when we were young. It will start off as a naïve attitude but could not take responsibility until the end and this is a vast difference (in attitude). After taking care of them, you start to understand the responsibilities of keeping it alive and it is a heavy and difficult responsibility. At that moment, you will develop two different choices. I am able to take care of it in the future or I have too little energy for it so I should send this child over to a better household. Abundance is something that is too much. This is the problem about the lacking knowledge.
Q: then what are we able to do about it?
Junho: this is very difficult. We normally hear the sentence ‘don’t buy, adopt’. But it still depends on the owner and it is not that simple. Finding a friend that I will spend my entire life with, you will have the feelings of always wanting them to be by your side since when they are young. There are a lot of awareness spreading events recently and the public started to understand more about why they should adopt and not buy. However, you cannot force them. I think you need to be able to have a connection with them. If you have the thoughts of wanting another cat when you already have one adopt, one of them is the one you choose while the other is adopted, not too sure if this is a good solution?
Q: this is also the reason why we are gathered here today.
Junho: I hope that this is able to help those who wants to adopt but have no idea how to adopt a window. At their point of view, even though it seems like it is very beautiful in the photos, I am not too sure if they will still have the same thoughts after meeting up so this is a little difficult. Thus I hope that the association is able to allow everyone to have the details of the children such as their age, what type of sickness do they have, what did those cats go through etc. you are only able to adopt with a peace of mind when you have all these details. Thus the association has to be more transparent and able to have more donation funds. Now I really find this a little difficult.
Q: what small little happiness did you experience with your cats?
Junho: I really cannot use any words to describe how cute the cats are (laughs). They are just really cute. No matter where you go, they will follow you by your side. It is not blind love, but those where you can have your own personal life and space. It feels like a group of partners who are living together. You would want to go home earlier because of the cats and you become more hardworking. The quality of your life becomes higher too. I feel more responsible after taking care of those children too.
Q: can you say a few words to those who still do not have the courage?
Junho: I feel that the process of taking care of a cat should not be viewed very straightforwardly. It should be a two-way kind of happiness. The cat will think that ‘ah, I have been chosen into the right household, I have picked right’ and the person will think that ‘bringing this friend back is great. Because of their existence I am able to enjoy all these’. This should be the right way of thinking. Unconditionally be responsible is impossible. To be honest, if you do not have the courage to take care of them, then it is right not to take care of them. But if you have troubles such as ‘for the child, I need to work harder’, then I think you have the rights (to take care of them).
Q: so this means that the correct answer is to care and love?
Junho: actually, because of some reasons, there are many people who do not like animals. Forcing those people that they ‘must like’, ‘please adopt’. Even though all these are said with positive intentions, but in their point of view, this will become a burden to them. Instead of liking them for no proper reason, it will be good to allow those people who do not like animals to develop the thoughts of living together with them. This will slowly influence them to develop the thoughts of ‘should I try living with them?’ From the perspective of someone who is trying to help the animals, you must give them respect as well. With this, I guess the association is able to successfully convey the message and have a smooth exhibition, right?
“for the abandoned cats and dogs in the shelter, if they are not taken by someone within 10 days, they will lose all other chances and can only slowly disappear from this world and this is something very heart breaking. Even though such things should not even happen in the first place, if there is the existence of people who do not take life of others seriously, they should have punishments that are harsher than what it is now. I hope that everyone will understand that their lives are also precious. They are part of a family.”
Chinese to English translations by jerwiepenpan (Twitter)
Korean to Chinese translations by Ra from Eternal_盛夏李俊昊个人站
Photos from Eternal_盛夏李俊昊个人站
Note: article has been translated from Chinese instead of Korean, please note that there will be translation inaccuracies, but the main content idea will still be there.
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