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Stray Cats on Campus: Lost Angels

Peking University, Nov. 4, 2014: Peking University, one of the most prestigious universities in China, is renowned for its academics and campus ground. But if walking on campus, newcomers can possibly be amazed by its hundreds of stray cats scattering everywhere as well.

Stray cats are thought to lead a leisurely, carefree and well-fed life in such a friendly environment on PKU campus. Compared with other wild cats or stray cats of other places, PKU cats practically enjoy a heavenly treatment. With numerous cat lovers around the campus, most stray cats have the privilege of devouring cat food, meat and other snacks provided by students, faculty members and some passers-by. After the feast, they can doze cozily under a tree without being disturbed, warmed up by afternoon sunshine filtering through the thick leaves.

Some even become school celebrities. A widely told story among PKU students is the Academic School Cat, an aged cat without a tail. This cat roams around teaching buildings and classrooms, sometimes sprawling on desks for lectures, usually on philosophy and literature. Its scholarly demeanor and elegant appearance has made it a legend.

the Academic School Cat/ Baidu pic

Most surprisingly, these “lost angels” have a guardian---Caring for Stray Cats Association of Peking University, a student organization whose main mission is raising fund, nicknaming the cats and offering them food and medical treatment. It  also helps some stray cats get adopted.

Stay cats at PKU seem to receive fairly much attention and care. However, probe into the phenomenon and give it a thought: is this necessarily the truth?

According to the association, stray cats at PKU are far from being happy as thought. Considering the huge amount of the group, only a small portion of stray cats have access to regular cat food and medical treatment. Most of them live in hunger and fear, not knowing where to get food and seek shelter. Cats may enjoy nine lives, but stray cats here only have a short one.

Home cats normally have a lifespan of over ten years, but most stray cats usually live no more than five years. Every year dozens of stray cats die under the wheels of motor vehicles. Disease is another huge threat. If they get one, their lives depend purely on mercy, as medical treatment is a luxury for most of them. When the cold wave befalls Beijing in winter, those poor creatures usually cannot find a warm shelter.

PKU stray cats in snow/ Wang Lipeng

For stray cats, PKU is a heaven among hells. Though well taken care of, they are still unable to escape the fate of being homeless. Tomorrow is another day, and may it be a promising one for cats wandering on PKU campus.

Written by: Xiao Chunliang
Edited by: Yan Shengnan