ST interviewed a student who is tending to an abandoned cat. We would like to hear a realistic story about adopting an abandoned animal, which is not always a happy one. .....................................Ed
A quarter of domestic pet families are cat families. It is an indicator that interest and affection for cats are increasing, but there are still negative eyes as well as shadows of abandonment and abuse. The number of abandoned animals in Korea is estimated to reach hundreds of thousands, and even if rescued in shelters, euthanasia is frequently practiced due to lack of manpower and space. However, even abandoned cats are fun animals that behave like any other normal cat, not poor cats on the street. ST interviewed Kim Hee-yeon (Department of Service and Design Engineering, 20, Sungshin Women’s University), a guardian of Hongshi, who likes churros and fish like any other cat.
ST: Hello, please introduce yourself.
Kim Hee-yeon: I currently live with a one-year-old cheese cat, Hongshi. As you may know, cheese cats are named after the yellowish cheese color.
ST: Why did you adopt an abandoned cat?
Kim: I have always wanted to raise a cat. Then I saw a temporary protection article for abandoned animals in the school community. I contacted the person who posted it right away, and got temporary protection for two weeks. It’s been two weeks, but I’ve already grown attached to it. It’s not easy to send it to another place. Therefore, I raised one with the consent of all my family members.
ST: What was the hardest part about raising abandoned animals?
Kim: It was my first time raising a pet, so I needed to study more about cats. I was prepared, but it took a lot more time and effort than I thought. Especially when the cat was sick at dawn, I went to the animal hospital at 12 midnight. Fortunately, it was not serious, so I just proceeded with the test, but it was a big financial burden. However, rather than having a hard time with abandoned cats, I think anyone who lives with pets experiences it.
ST: When did you think you’re really good at adopting?
Kim: That’s what I always think when I come home. Just being at home comforts me, and makes me happy. Especially when you see it sleeping or longs for touch, I think you realize that it has such an amazing power to eliminate fatigue. Every moment we spend together, I think it’s a good time to adopt.
ST: Lastly, what do you want to say to people who are going to adopt abandoned animals?
Kim: I hope only those who are confident that they can bear the burden, and take responsibility until the end will proceed with adopting. Then I recommend you to check if you have allergies. My friend also had a hard time visiting my house, not knowing that he was allergic to cats.
Abandoned animals and pet shop animals are not much different. It’s a life-long responsibility. It’s never easy, but it’s true for all pets. If you could reach out for the little lives on the street, they’d be ready to become a part of the family.
Lee Ga-eun (News Editor)