A One-Of-A-Kind Cat
She could feel her emotions swirl inside of her. She needed to figure out what this cat was doing, but when she’d find out she would be in disbelief.
She had been taking in strays for years but had never seen anything like this. She just knew she had to act.
Ari lived in Seoul, South Korea, and had a love for cats. But she had no idea that her passion would turn her life on its head.
Where Ari lived had many alleys where dozens of stray cats lived. She used this knowledge to her advantage and quickly got to know them.
The cats started taking a liking to her after she started feeding them. But more would appear every day which concerned her neighbors greatly.
Soon cats had congregated from all over the city to get in on the action. Ari still wanted to learn more about them, and soon something new would come into her life.
The Mysterious Tabby
Ari started to take notice of one particular cat – a female tabby, who started acting differently from all the other cats. When she approached with bowls of food, she would come near and sniff around but didn’t take any. One cat stood out among the crowd. She was a female tabby that acting differently from the others. She would turn her nose up at the food.
Ari just thought that maybe the cat was well fed at home. But then she realized that the cat was a little too familiar. What was this cat’s agenda?
A Mother’s Loss
Ari finally recognized the tabby. She had given birth in the building but none of her kittens made it.
It was sad to think about and Ari thought now that maybe the cat was just still mourning. She named the tabby Dong-Sook and wondered when she would eat.
Hatching A Plan
She wanted to make the tabby feel better so she brought out special food that she never gave the other cats. She wondered if she would refuse this food too.
The cat sniffed the food and meowed up at Ari, but didn’t so much as a nibble on it. Then something else happened.
Taking What She Wanted
Ari couldn’t believe that the cat still would eat. She even tried to feed her the dry food again, but she would eat it.
But the cat then knocked her bag of food to the ground, picked it up, and fled with it. Ari just stood in confusion at what had just happened.
Crazy For Bags
Why had Dong-Sook done that? Ari had never experienced anything like this before. She would be prepared the next day to see if the cat would try and do it again.
Ari wanted to find out the truth of what was going on. She needed to find out.
Ari decided that she would follow the cat this time. So she put the food out and waited for Dong-Sook to pounce.
Dong-Sook would lead Ari on a chase through some tight alleys. But Ari charged after her with her camera, determined to get to the bottom of everything.
Ari lost track of the cat when she jumped up on a ledge onto a terrace. She’d have to return the following day to try and find out where the cat was going.
Only, Dong-Sook didn’t come for food the next day… or the day after that. Ari loved all the cats, but there was just something about that tabby that made her worry.
Where Was Dong-Sook?
Three days passed and there was still no sign of Dong-Sook. Ari was beginning to fear the worst. In her city, many people still regarded the street cats as vermin and even thought they brought bad luck.
Life as a street cat was hard enough. But in Seoul, stray cats had it harder than most. Had something happened to her? Then, Ari remembered something.
Ari remembered that Dong-Sook had her kittens in the basement of one of the buildings in the area, so she decided to look for her there.
She knew enough about cat behavior to know that if Dong-Sook was sick or injured, she’d look for a safe, quiet place to hide. She only hoped she wasn’t already too late.
Searching The Basement
Ari searched the basement, but then her heart dropped. There was a blanket in a corner that must have been Dong-Sook’s den with empty packets scattered around it, but no sign of the cat.
Ari had to get to the bottom of what had happened. She just had to know. So she went home, fetched her camera, and set it up near the site. Then, she heard a small sound.
What Was She Doing?
Ari dashed up the ladder and found Dong-Sook! She was pacing around the terrace with a plastic bag of food still in her mouth.
It was almost as if she was waiting for something. Dong-Sook called again with a muffled meow. Then she saw it: from under the old blanket, something emerged.
The small tabby kitten walked up to Dong-Sook, who promptly dropped the bag of food at its feet. The kitten proceeded to rip the bag open with its teeth, with such ease that Ari figured it had done it before.
It then ate the food inside, as Dong-Sook watched closely. Ari realized what this meant.
The One Survivor
Clearly, not all of Dong-Sook’s litter had perished. This one kitten survived, and its mother was doing everything she could to keep it alive. Ari was brought to tears by this realization and decided she had to do something to help.
While Dong-Sook was clever and resourceful, Ari wanted to ensure her efforts would not be in vain so she contacted a local animal rescue group. She wanted to give the tabby and her kitten a better life.
Trying To Catch Her
Staff from the animal group saw Ari’s video and were left in awe of Dong-Sook’s actions. “After suffering, she was attached to the kitten,” said one of them. They sent rescuers to her neighborhood to find and catch the cats.
It was not an easy task since they were not familiar to Dong-Sook. As a lifelong stray, the tabby would not give in without a fight.
Together And Safe
The rescuers trapped the kitten first since it was smaller and more docile. They picked it up with extreme care, to show Dong-Sook they meant no harm. When the time came to catch the mother, she was wary but eventually let them take her.
She knew it was the only way to be reunited with her kitten. Ari was sad to see them go but rejoiced at the thought of what they were gaining.
A New Life
The group found a home for Dong-Sook and her kitten and bought them a brand new house for them to sleep in. The kitten was excited about all the new, warm blankets, jumping playfully around its mother.
Dong-Sook didn’t show much emotion, but when feeding time came, she finally accepted a bowl of food. It was as if she knew she no longer had to worry about finding food for her little one.
Dong-Sook was sterilized for two reasons: one, she was quite an old cat and the organization didn’t want her to have to go through pregnancy again. Two, she wouldn’t contribute to the city’s stray population
It’s thanks to kind people like Ari and a small band of animal welfare advocates in Seoul that Dong-Sook and her kitten will have a better life. Although most people think helping one animal doesn’t make much of a difference, it means everything to that one animal.