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It’s never too late to make a new best friend — just ask Jiji and this sweet cat named Kinako, who changed his life for the better.

Jiji is 94 years old and lives in Tokyo, Japan, with his wife and his granddaughter, photographer Akiko DuPont. A few years back, Jiji was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, after which he seemed to lose hope that he’d ever be himself again.

“I think when you learn that you have Alzheimer’s, it is easy to start feeling scared, lonely, sad and lost,” DuPont told The Dodo. “I saw that in him. He tried to hide it, but I could see it. He was still Jiji, a loving man. But he gradually began to make a wall between himself and other people.”

That is, until he met Kinako. An extraordinary friendship gradually grew between the two. Who would have thought that a timid kitten would befriend a grumpy old man! The border between human and animal melts, just as shy Kinako melted Jiji’s heart.

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