Posted by: Sam Olsen | September 29, 2013

Flying cats

A friend of mine (Will) who is most likely moving out to Honkers emailed me the other day to ask a tricky question. Being a cat lover, he wanted to know if he would be able to find a flat where his feline pals would be welcome.

We’ve spoken elsewhere here about the amount of dogs in Hong Kong, most of them cooped up in tiny apartments and only appearing to be walked on the pavements and concrete paths that thread around the territory. That’s why the pedestrian is always keeping a couple of eyes open for the ubuquitous turds that litter the way. And, if you remember our post, that is why the occasional local takes enormous pleasure in poisoning the poor pooches.

There is a concerted effort by the Establishment here to make the Hong Kong Chinese into a nation of animal lovers, including dogs. For decades here Fido’s finest cousins were served up in restaurants, as they still are in Korea, Vietnam and across the Chinese border. So at Larry’s school this week a local charity brought in a small mutt (“Doctor Dog”) to teach the kids that he and his kin were for patting, not tasting. To help the education process they kindly distributed their website. Us parents, naturally assuming it to be a child-friendly site, gathered our offspring around to see Doc Dog’s online antics. As the photos of bear bile farms and caged creatures ready for the pot downloaded it became clear that Larry was going to be remembering this moment for many a nightmare to come.

Anyway, back to the cats. It is true that many do live here, but their life expectancy isn’t always what would be expected, thanks to the preponderance of high-rises. A friend of a friend was at his new girlfriend’s house feeling a little hungover. She went for a run, leaving him with express orders not to open the windows or door. After a while he was feeling a little sweaty so chanced his luck by opening one of the fenestras, by just a touch it must be said. Then, alas, nature made a sudden calling, which only took a few minutes, but enough for felix to discover the gap. He managed to get a hand to its tail but recovered only a few hairs before watching it plummet fifteen floors to its demise.

So Will, yes it will be possible to find somewhere for your cats to be accepted too, but just remember that aircon is better than fresh air.





  1. Enjoyed every bit of it. Well said. It’s the Way in Hong Kong. I think I might have enjoyed it a bit more than the average gweilo because I happen to be a cross between a gweilo and a local (in the ethnic sense), on paper I mean. I think the gweio way but I know how the ‘locals’ tick in their heads.

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