The Sad Cats at Hou Dong Cat Village

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The cat in the guardhouse was already knocked out cold.

Now that I think about it, most of the cats were in a daze. The first cat that I saw in Hou Dong (猴硐) was on the long wooden bridge with arched concrete suppers underneath. It was on its side, head down against the floor. A tourist walked by with two small poodle dogs and the cat didn’t even open its eyes.

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There are two cats in this photo.

We walked up a mountain through Hou Dong’s Cat Village, and there were tourists everywhere. Cats were on the walls sleeping. One motley cat was walking along the top of a short wall and a tourist tried blocking it. It ducked under her armpit and kept walking. She then used her entire upper body to block the cat. The cat stopped walking and turned its head down at a very sharp angle, like it’s neck was broken. When the tourist moved to the side, it continued walking.

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We saw two cats dressed in vests sleeping inside a cage and a heavily made-up woman walked out of her house and told us that the two cats, like the other cats in the village, sleep during the day and wake up in the night. The cats were originally brought here to kill mice. In the last two years, over 200 cats have died because of stray dogs, disease, and lack of sleep (the woman said that tourists poke the cats awake to take photos with them). Ever since a newspaper/magazine article came out about the Cat Village, the place has been extremely crowded.

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A family gets some peace and quiet.

I felt sorry for the cats but I wondered why they choose to sleep in plain sight of the tourists. Perhaps that’s how they get cat food? I just hope that the cat population stops declining and that the cats get enough sleep. I guess humans aren’t the only ones feeling sleepy.

 

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