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Peking University students set up app for stray cats on campus

APR . 23 2020
Peking University, April 23, 2020: Cats prowling around one of China's top universities now have their personal profiles uploaded to the country's largest social media network – WeChat. A group of students at Peking University (PKU) created a mini-program, or a sub-application under WeChat's ecosystem, to catalog the stray cats roaming the campus.

 
A stray cat named Xiaoju at Peking University. /Peking University Cat Care Association's WeChat mini-program

The mini-program, named Yan Yuan Mao, was created by the Peking University Cat Care Association. It recorded each cat's name alongside a photo. For some cats, descriptions of their personalities, favorite foods, real-time records of recent sightings, relationships with other cats on campus, and even sounds were also included.

 
Students in the association help the stray cats get sterilized and adopted. If they've been adopted, they're marked "graduated." If they haven't been seen for a long time, they're marked "suspension of schooling." So far, there are 69 cats remaining "on campus."

The mini-program unexpectedly went viral on Chinese social media on April 16, and the university's online network even collapsed for a while when too many people tried to log into the program.

Many netizens praised the students' intelligence and their love and care for stray cats on campus.


Cats have been a beloved part of campus life at Peking University, with students, faculty members and passersby, offering them food.

Some cats have even become celebrities on campus. One of them went viral on social media for prowling the teaching buildings, and sitting on desks during lectures, with a particular interest in philosophy and literature.

However, although PKU has offered stray cats a relatively better living environment, it doesn't mean that the existence of stray cats are reasonable. Fan Hanyun, president of the association, told China News, adding that the stray cats have been abandoned by their owners and continue to breed their offspring outside.

He also said that some stray cats' lives on campus are not as good as many people thought. He had seen over a dozen of stray cats died due to various reasons over the past three years, as some of them couldn't adapt to the lives in the wild and even run into cars on the road.

"PKU is not a heaven for stray cats," said a sentence in the mini-program. "The fact that a cat becomes a stray cat is not good at all," said Fan, "As the owner, if you want to be responsible for your pets, the correct approach is to find a better family for pets, rather than abandon them."

Source:
CGTN