Sun, Mar 24, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Cat-friendly overpass to be unveiled in ‘Cat Town’

Staff writer, with CNA

A 60m long overpass furnished with cat stands and cat furniture is to be unveiled on March 30 in the Houtong (猴硐) area of New Taipei City’s (新北市) Ruifang District (瑞芳), where the presence of a large cat population has been a big tourist draw in recent years.

The town used to be one of the country’s largest coalmining sites, but it is now focused on its other natural resource: stray cats.

Over the years, the town has become home to an estimated 100 cats.

As Houtong is currently being renovated, city officials said it was a good opportunity to install cat-friendly facilities.

“We must take the cats’ needs into consideration because they have become an important part of the town,” city official Chen Ching-fang said.

She added that she hoped the bridge will reflect the harmonious coexistence of the town’s residents and the cats, as well as promote animal protection.

The overpass cost NT$18 million (US$602,600) and took eight months to build. It is expected to not only benefit cats, but also attract cat-lovers, Chen said.

The cats will be able to walk, relax and interact with pedestrians on the overpass.

Since 2009, Houtong has been nicknamed “Cat Town” after news was published about its large cat population.

The town attracts many tourists, especially on weekends, Chen said.

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