New Taipei City’s Yi Tian Temple (義天宮), built in 1965 in honor of the sea goddess Matsu, has over the years become not just a place of worship for the residents of Sanchong District (三重), but also a shelter for neighborhood cats.
Unlike most temples, where it is unacceptable for animals to be wandering around, Yi Tian Temple provides a cozy refuge for cats.
“It is not like we are picking up cats around the clock, it is just that it is impossible to sit and watch them die,” said Wang Hsiu-ying (王秀英), leader of the temple’s Buddhist chanting group.
Wang said she first started rescuing stray cats about 10 years ago, when she found a female cat and five newborn kittens near the temple.
Over time, she learned how to take care of cats and began buying large quantities of food for them with her own money, she said.
After a while, volunteers and staff at the temple joined the effort, Wang said.
Now there are usually eight or nine cats at the temple, lying on the altars, curled up inside the statues, or drinking water from the cups offered as tributes to the deities.
“Cats, like humans, are living beings,” Wang said. “The deities won’t be bothered by them.”
The temple’s officer of general affairs, surnamed Tu, said it is interesting that the number of cats at the temple seem to remain about the same.
“As you can see, cats come and go, they die, and it is like their lives are being extended this way,” said Tu, who has taken on the task of dealing with the litter boxes.
Whatever the reason for their constant numbers at the temple, the cats have become an attraction for visitors from home and abroad.
Inside the temple are pictures of “Yuan Yuan” the tabby, “Bao Bao” the tuxedo, “Tai Tai” the gray cat and many others taken by visitors, temple staff and volunteers.
Among them is the famous “New New,” a black-and-white cat that died in 2009 and was renamed “Holy Cat” on a section of the temple’s Web site dedicated to the cats.
No one at the temple can recall what exactly was special about New New, except that she was clever and one of the older strays at the temple.
If worshipers did not put banknotes into the donation boxes properly, New New would push in the money with her paw, former temple management committee chairman Chao Ching-fu (趙慶福) said.
There is also a story on the temple’s Web site about how New New survived a car accident while she was wearing a Matsu amulet.
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of
REPEAT OFFENDER: The man went outside for exercise on Wednesday and then left his home on Saturday with his girlfriend, officials said A New Taipei City man has been fined NT$400,000 (US$13,221) and ordered into government quarantine after breaking home quarantine for a second time on Saturday. The 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week and was ordered to home quarantine until Sunday. He was seen leaving his home on a scooter with his girlfriend on Saturday, three days after he was fined NT$200,000 for going outside to exercise, police said. Chen has now been placed in a quarantine center arranged by the district office and health center of the district where he lives, police said. Police warned the public