Houtong, Taiwan’s cat-village

The story: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/taiwan-houtong-cat-village/index.html

There’s a cat-shaped bridge, pet food bowls on the side of the walkways, street signs with cat motifs, cat-themed cafes and, of course, furry feline friends roaming freely everywhere.

In the early 1900s, Houtong, in New Taipei City, was the biggest and most technologically advanced coal-mining site in Taiwan. It was a prosperous town with about 6,000 residents and workers, before the mine fell into disuse in 1990.
As most young residents moved away for better opportunities, Houtong became a sleepy village with about 100 residents.
But in 2010, Houtong’s fame surged after a cat lover and photographer started blogging about the village’s growing stray cat population. Houtong was transformed into a cat-lover mecca while also providing a source of income for local villagers.
Many of the stray cats, now given affectionate nicknames, are taken care of by local villagers as well as a troop of volunteers.
In addition to the village’s many cute kitty-themed shops and cafes, the local government has also seized the opportunity to revamp Houtong and highlight its long history.

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