It was raining cats and dogs, or maybe just cats and cats when I’m at Houtong Village. Instead of heading straight to Taipei, I decided to do a pit stop to check out Houtong Cat Village before I head back to my hostel.
Houtong Cat Village is indeed a place of oddity as you could see hundreds of resident cats claiming the place. Maybe it’s because of the hype that started and it became such a strange tourist attraction. Because it’s an old village and it’s been famous for, of course, cats gathering there. Strays and owned ones alike. There are several stories that I heart too, and the train attendant of the station itself told me some locals end up adopting the strays, or even buying more kittens to grow the numbers.
“Resident Cats” are all around the places from the train station to the alley across the street. I caught one at the exit of the stations as I saw locals and tourists taking photos, some walking up to pet it. I smiled and walked on as I was being presented to an array of kitty-related commerce. From cat postcards, magnets to several other souvenirs and daily essentials that fit the mood.
I walked across the streets to find more cats around. There are also shops that sells kitty bite so you could feed those feline and go “awwwww”, or I’d say “meow"~ I stood around at the balcony of the station before I leave, where I could see the commercial atrium/plaza area of Houtong. This place isn’t exactly huge but maybe it’ll be a nice place to lounge around with the cats when it’s not raining. Having a cat cafe here is probably just as apt.
One of my friends who’s a staff from the hostel (Yes it’s you Fox!), told me that Houtong has become too much of a tourist attraction over the years. And sometimes, there are even people who use this place as an “abandoning spot”, for their unwanted cats. And a lot of vendors just go in there to “ride” on the hype, just for business’s sake.
Hearing this sank my heart little but on the bright side, the various efforts of the residents to take care of those poor felines. It’s also nice to see some actions from the tourists, even though all we can do is to buy cat food for them.
Well, every little thing helps right?