Those little pointy ears, a face full of whiskers, and the gentle purr – can you guess which pet we’re talking about? Of course, it’s our feline friends! They have been a hot topic of the internet for years thanks to their curious yet somehow clumsy ways getting them into all sorts of mischief. Plus, we need to get to the bottom of this cardboard box situation. We know they are great, and all, but cats seem to have a love that goes further than we could ever imagine. Unfortunately, not all the cats in the world get to experience the love and generosity of a family. There can be all sorts of reasons that cats end up in shelters. From running away to a change in the family situation, sometimes they just no longer have a house to call home. That isn’t all. Some of these felines are born and raised on the streets.
As they join the fight to survive, these cats must put up a fight if they want to come out on top. Thankfully, there are some people in this world that will do anything to help the pets in need. So what happens when one of them starts behaving strangely? They may be wild, but it can be hard not to grow attached to these creatures. The team couldn’t sit back and watch. They had to find out what was wrong.
Many of us have heard the phrase that dogs are a man’s best friend. However, that doesn’t leave any room for the cats of the world! Perhaps they are reserved for the women? Either way, there are several million of these claw and whisker wearing creatures everywhere we look. Sadly, not all of these felines have a place to call home. That is why many charities and organizations have set up hot spots that allow them to care for the cats living on the streets. It could be food, water, or as much medical treatment as they can administer. All of these go towards offering these homeless cats the best life they can. So what happens when one begins acting out of character?
The root of the problem
South Korea is stuck in the middle of a huge homeless cat phenomenon. They live just about everywhere you look, with the city of Seoul being home to more than 200,000 alone. Sadly, many Koreans believe the cats are a nuisance that need to be dealt with. This could be by having them removed all the way up to illegally capturing the animals to sell for meat. It looks as though life is no walk in the park for these felines. Although many struggle to deal with the cat population, some organizations fight to keep the animals safe and fed. One woman was part of a team that would travel to the same spot every day to give the cats the care they need.
Pet shelter deeds
This local lady has worked at one of Korea’s pet shelters for five years. Since signing up, she and many others from the area have made it their mission to care for the local strays. Every day, they travel to an area of the neighborhood riddled with homeless cats. Although there are several cats that arrive each day, it was hard for these volunteers not to pick a favorite. It could be anything from their unique color or loving personality. So what made this cat so special?
The volunteers would arrive with pounds of food to ensure the cats were getting all the nutrition they needed to survive on the streets. However, there was one cat that stood out for their strange eating habits. Dongsuk. Many of the cats would run to the dry food on offer. However, Dongsuk would turn away when given anything to eat. Surely a cat surviving on the streets couldn’t be that fussy? Although Dongsuk wouldn’t eat, the cat kept coming back.
Dongsuk’s little ginger face would be there every day when the volunteers arrived. What was stopping him from eating? Try as they might, no one could get the little one to accept any food. He was interested, but nothing would get him to eat. Although Dongsuk was frustrating to many of the workers, one woman struck up a special bond with the feline. He was just misunderstood. All Dongsuk needed was the correct sort of food, right?
The Korean lady tried everything she could think to get Dongsuk to eat. Dried food was a no go as he would arrive only to leave again without touching it. Instead, she thought that a can of fresh meat would be more enticing. After a long day on the streets, surely Dongsuk could be tempted? No. This cat still wasn’t willing to eat. The lady was starting to run out of ideas. After all, there were only so many different ways she could try and feed the cat.
Thinking outside the box
Then it suddenly hit her. Why didn’t she try offering Dongsuk’s food in a new way? All the other cats would take the food in open bags and settle down to eat. However, this lady tried offering up Dongsuk’s serving in a way they hadn’t tried – in a closed bag. Maybe he wanted to take it somewhere safe and away from the others? She measured out the serving of food, put it in a plastic bag, tied the top, and sat back to wait for the results. Could she have answered the question?
Amazingly, Dongsuk came over to investigate the bag! Before long he was seen disappearing off with his little parcel of food. How could the answer have been so simple all along? The volunteers figured he would take his meal somewhere away from competition and begin to chow down. However, they were surprised to see the feline keep walking until he was out of sight. Although they were confused, everyone was just relieved to see Dongsuk take something to eat.
As the days continued to pass by, Dongsuk was always there ready and waiting to take their food. The volunteer always made sure to keep a plastic bag she could use to offer up his meal. After all, they wanted to make sure all the cats got their fair share of food. As they started to bond, the lady was worried that Dongsuk wasn’t waiting with the others. They had been around people for a long time by now and should be comfortable eating in front of them.
Where was it all going?
If Dongsuk was taking their food away, then where could it all possibly be going? One cat could only eat so much. Plus, the volunteers figured if the cat was living on the streets then they would be starving. Surely Dongsuk couldn’t be storing it away for a rainy day? All of the other cats would tuck into their meals before they even touched the ground. Why was Dongsuk so different? There had to be more to the story.
Setting a plan
The volunteers couldn’t hold it in anymore. They just had to find out where this little cat was taking their food. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but these volunteers were far too intrigued to let the strange behavior go. Unfortunately, they knew they would have to be careful. Although Dongsuk had been around people to receive his food, he was still a feral cat. One wrong move and Dongsuk could be too scared to return for food. How would he be able to survive then?
Keeping a distance
The only way they would be able to follow this curious feline was if they kept their distance. Following the twists and turns of the streets, it wasn’t long before they found where Dongsuk had been heading all this time. In fact, he only lived around the corner! However, something wasn’t right. Dongsuk was pacing around as if he was looking for something. What could he be waiting for? The volunteers were confused, but they didn’t have to wait long to find an answer…
She’s a girl!
Dongsuk began to meow. Someone had to come. That’s when the volunteers noticed the small bundle of ginger fluff appearing out of the side. Dongsuk was a girl and a mother! Rather than tearing into the food herself, Dongsuk placed down the bag of food. Now she sat and watched as her little kitten tucked into their latest meal. No one believed what they were seeing. Had she really been saving her food all this time? Plus, where were the others?
Doing some digging
The volunteers were overjoyed to finally have an answer to the mystery that was Dongsuk. However, they wanted to learn more about this caring mom. Many of the cats that came to collect food lived by themselves. Their energy went towards surviving the harsh atmosphere, fighting off any competition, and looking for food of their own. It was unusual to see a cat with a kitten, let alone a cat saving their food for their youngsters.
Learning the truth
Locals had seen Dongsuk hanging around for months, but they also had a heartbreaking story that was about to leave the volunteers in tears. She didn’t only have one kitten. When Dongsuk first gave birth, she had five little ones to care for. However, as time passed and the fight to survive became harder, they began to drop away. Dongsuk just couldn’t protect them all when she was away searching for food. Now, she was left with only one bundle of fluff.
They may have been feral cats, but the volunteers couldn’t sit back and let the cats waste away. Instead, they offered up a warm quilt to help keep the pair safe. Although the cats were reluctant at first, they soon accepted their new bed to keep them safe and warm. This also gave a chance for the volunteers to get closer to the felines. They wanted to help. However, they needed to find a way to earn the cats’ trust before they could get close enough.
After building a bond with the felines, the volunteers stepped in to help the cats in the only way they knew how – by rescuing them from a life on the streets. All their hard work was about to come down to one moment. Would they be able to capture the felines successfully? It was time to find out. They brought in a rescue box and a net. However, the cats had never seen these pieces of equipment before. The volunteers had one chance.
Both the cats began to grow worried. The volunteers placed down the rescue box, but they couldn’t get the cats to go inside. Instead, they were forced to use the net. This was almost too much for the felines. They began to fight and struggle but soon realized the volunteers were there to help them. After a life of fearing people, the cats had accepted their fate. Dongsuk and her kitten soon stopped fighting and made their way into the box.
Now, the mother and daughter are living out their lives in an adoption home as they have a roof over their heads for the first time. Instead of having to carry bags of food to a street corner, Dongsuk is now in the comfort of a shelter with her young daughter by her side. For now, the cats are waiting to find their forever home. To make it even better, the felines are greeted with an overflowing bowl of food each and every day.
For many years, the people of Korea have viewed cats as an issue that need to be dealt with. From setting traps to eradicating the animals themselves, many are sick of being overrun by cats. Thankfully, people’s views are beginning to change. Many efforts have been made over the years to neuter the street cats, although the surgeries didn’t always end well. Nowadays, many accept cats are a vital part of the ecosystem. Dongsuk and her kitten are two of the lucky ones that get a second chance at life.