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【Voluntary Organisation】The Stories of the Cats’ Protectors

-- Prequel to “The Guarding Angels”

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Written by: YANG Xiyu
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Edited by:James Campion, WANG Zijin |  Date:2016/10/1747 Hits

There is a mysterious but not concealed organization at GDUFS. Many people may have seen its members feeding homeless cats, yet still don’t know its name. It is one of the biggest voluntary organizations at GDUFS: ShanJiaomiao (which means “the cats living at the foot of the Baiyun Mountain”in Chinese) of GDUFS.

 

In 2014, when Shan Jiaomiao was founded, there were only about 20 members in the organisation. After two years’development, it now already has over 60 members annually. According to the leader of the association, they may attend around 80 homeless cats at the same period of time.

 

For ShanJiaomiao, one of their most important roles is helping little feral cats to find their owners. The adopted cats are often healthy ones about two months old, which have always already been taken care of by the members of ShanJiaomao since their birth. XU Dongyuan, the leader of the ShanJiaomao, mentioned that they have very rigorous qualifications to ensure a safe and happy life for the adopted cats. Also, they will ask the owners to offer them photos of the cats or visit the owners’ house regularly to make sure that the adoptees are in good condition.

 

 

Dongyuan herself shared a moving experience about adopting that she went through when she worked in this association. It was in 2014 when she adopted a sick less than one-month-old cat. She fed it food and medicine; she played with it; she took great care of it. She cultivated deep friendship with that little cat. When the summer holiday arrived, the leader had to leave the cat at the dormitory with her roommates and went back home. Nonetheless, as soon as she came back and opened the door of the dorm room, the cat just rushed out towards her. “You know what……” Dongyuan’s chin lay on her hands, smiling and memorizing: “At that moment, its motion threw itself on me and it couldn’t stop licking my hands and rubbing my legs with its supple head.” Her facial expression implicated how warm that scene was. Now, that cat has a new owner after scrupulous care of Dongyuan.

 

Although Shan Jiaomiao looks like a relaxing association that offers its members great opportunities to play with lovely cats at GDUFS, its tasks are much harder than our imagination. XU Dongyuan told me that they frequently face a shortage of funds which are essential for the expenses of cats’ food and treatments. She said, “Although some graduated alumni and other catlovers may provide us with catfood or donate money to us, our resources are still tight.” Another difficult task is catching cats. Some sick cats need to be caught and then to be sent to veterinarians; others may need to be sterilized and take an operation. “I can still remember one of the hardest experiences that we spent about one month to catch a sick female cat.” Dongyuan smiled embarrassedly, “That cathad its sterilization operation and then its scar inflamed, so we neededto take it to the vet.” Fortunately, they finally caught the cat with the help of some cats’ lovers from a professional animal-protecting organis,ation and the cat is in a healthy condition now.

 

 

When she was asked if there were some words she wanted to share with other students, she thought for a while and then told me her real thought with a serious facial expression that she hopes that there can be less misunderstanding towards the cats at GDUFS and towards Shan Jiaomiao. “You see, many people believe that the feral cats at GDUFS lead a good life since they often have food to eat and seem to be plump and happy, but that is not always the case.” She explained that,every winter,some cats get ill or even diebecause of the cold. She talked about the car accidents which are quite common for cats that live near Qing Yayuan(which is one of the three main canteens of North Campus at GDUFS). “We need to bury some cats’ corpses every two weeks.” Dongyuan looked in a daze when she mentioned this, “There was a time when I was told to deal with a new corpse, and when I arrived at the spot, I just found it was a cat which played with our members of Shan Jiaomiao a lot.” It was hard to describe her facial expressions at that moment. It was more than just despair.

 

 

Participating in the work of ShanJiaomiao also enables XU Dongyuan to grow up and veer the position of protecting feral cats. She has gradually learned to consider the cats at GDUFS at a larger scale: from the whole group of cats instead of from an individual cat. Also, despite the fact that Dongyuan always stays at the cats’ perspective to solve problems, she has also noticedthe importance of reconciling the relationship between students and cats. “That’s why sterilization is significant.” said by XU Dongyuan, smiling, ”It reduces the risk of cats havingdiseases and controlsthe cats at GDUFS at a certain number, both of which ensure a cleaner and more harmonious environment for students.”