Tuesday, August 31, 2010

'It Was More Fun Than I Imagined'

Who knew tickling pussies with feather-tipped sticks would become a tourist draw?
A rundown former coal mining town in Taiwan is carving out a new future as a tourist resort - because of its huge stray cat population.

Cat lovers are reportedly flocking to Houtong to photograph the cats, tickle them with feather-tipped sticks and buy cat-related souvenirs.

The number of stray cats in the town is said to outweigh the human population by a ratio of two-to-one, reports Metro.

Houtong had undergone a seemingly irreversible economic decline as coal became less important to Taiwan's economy.

But the tiny, 200-strong community is reinventing itself as a cat lover's paradise.

"It was more fun than I imagined," said one visitor from Taipei. "The cats were clean and totally unafraid of people. I'll definitely return."

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