Felines and firecrackers
Firecrackers can hurt animals just as much as they do humans. A teenage cosplayer who loves cats makes a plea to Chinese New Year merry makers.
Devon Wong reports.
With the Chinese New Year just winding up, we heard a lot of this. But you might have missed the sound of this. Firecrackers injure hundreds of people each year. And animal welfare groups are jumpstarting the new awareness. Cats and dogs are a common sight in Manila. Yi’ze Yen sees them every day, and opens her door to many cats she’s rescued from the streets. To say she’s a cat-lover is a bit of an understatement.
YI’ZE YEN, CAT OWNER: In all, I’ve handled 77 cats. Yes, not all ended good but most of them have a sweet home with a owner who loves them.
Yi’ze runs an unofficial cat shelter from her home in Quezon City. Her reputation as cat lady has grown-- even neighbours drop off stray cats in boxes on her doorstep. But she’s says it’s no superhero feat. Originally from China, Yi’ze knows that plenty of firecrackers means both accidental and intentional stress for street animals.
YI'ZE: Kids or teens around, they’re torturing animals … and they’re having fun. And it’s very cruel and inhumane. It’s like, what if someone did that to you just because of fun? What would you think about that?
She says she hopes people will be not light firecrackers in alleyways--which may host some unsuspecting four-legged victim.
YI'ZE: I hope that they light firecrackers in an open space, not in some very narrow streets, and there’s stray cats and dogs all around and they don’t know what’s going on. Then they often get hurt in that situation. And please don’t have fun torturing animals with firecrackers.
When asked if street cats are still better off in Manila than in Shanghai, her response: It’s better here because no one eats cats.
Devon Wong, Rappler, Manila.