Seoulites seek coexistence with stray cat population
spiritual and healthcare tourism, with fascinating destinations such as Thôùi Sôn Islet, Ñoâng Hoøa Hieäp Village, the floating market and traditional craft village in Caùi Beø District, the orchards on Taân Phong Islet, Ñoàng Thaùp Möôûi ecological conservation area, and Truùc Laâm Chaùnh Giaùc monastery. SEOUL — Change is taking place on the streets of Seoul for humancat cohabitation.
The Seoul city government’s stray cat policy centers on population control, but there’s more to homeless cats’ lives than reproductive impediment. Where the city government fails to fill in, people who are in touch with their feline neighbours on a daily basis are paving the way for humans and street cats to live together.
Seoul’s local business owners have become active forces in making the city a better place for cats without homes. Not only are they tending to the homeless cats, they have turned their businesses into homes for cats rescued from the street.
Meet Lee Hee- young, who owns cocktail bar Bar Bam Bar and looks after former and present stray cats. He’s a cat rights advocate who shies away from the use of the term “pet,” a word whose undertones of ownership he sees as a pejorative. He prefers the term “companion”.
Bar Bam Bar has earned a measure of fame on Instagram, with thousands of posts hashtagged under its name. Since a cocktail bar with an abundance of furry friends is a rare sight, there’s certainly a hip factor to the equation. Located in a popular restaurant alley of Yeongdeungpo, southwestern Seoul, the area around the bar is frequented by many stray cats.
Lee says Bar Bam Bar was not always the “cat cocktail bar” it is now known as. The bar opened its doors to its first cat, Bam, in 2013. Bam was found through an online advertisement looking for his new caretaker. Afterward, Lee started taking care of stray cats in the alley, eventually rescuing and adopting a number of them. Most of Lee’s cats are rescued from the
In 2019, Tieàn Giang Province targets 2.1 million tourists, including 850,000 foreigners, and VNÑ1.14 trillion ($49.19 million) in tourism revenue. — VNS streets or given up by former owners.
Due to the overwhelming presence of uncared-for cats in the area, many business owners like Lee have taken it in their hands to tend to the cats.
“Many shop owners feed the cats, clean up after them, take them to vets for vaccinations, treatment and neutralization,” Lee said.
The prime motive behind their helping hand? The homeless cats are a product of human indiscretion.“There’s a tonne of lodging businesses around here, and you will surprised how many cats are brought in discreetly for an overnight stay,” he said. The owner is gone the next morning leaving the cat behind – who will most likely become the latest addition to the district’s stray cat community.
Lee stressed, however, that individual efforts fall short. The cats in the streets are malnourished, prone to infection and horrible treatment from people and sometimes killed by cars.
“There has to be a citywide effort,” he said, confessing he feels he’s “making a plea,” with heartfelt desperation in his voice as he made his case for a municipal plan to confront the city’s feline conflict.
Since people and cats are wildly different species, people need to take more consideration to understand and exist in peace with cats. There has to be more thought into cat adoption than a mere “aww, it’s cute.”
“Cats are given up shortly after being adopted because people realize too late that they are not just pretty fluffs to look at,” said Cho Ah-yeon, owner of the Planet Earth Cats cafe, home to 30 rescued cats. — The Korea Herald/ ANN
Life’s a beach: Taân Thaønh Sea area in Goø Coâng Ñoâng District, Tieàn Giang Province, which is home to beautiful beaches with black sands. — Photo