Changing Perceptions

Learn what?s being done to help South Korea?s cats.

By Virginia Parker

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An 18-inch leash tethers the beautiful calico in the marketplace. Her movement is restricted between a shelf and a cardboard box. She allows me to pet her as I ask her owner, an old woman, why the cat is there. I fear the woman’s answer. This is, after all, a food market.

It’s not easy to be a cat (or a cat-lover) in South Korea. Unlike in Japan, where cats are considered lucky, the cats of South Korea are thought to be carriers of disease and misfortune. In Korean folklore, there are many “evil cats” that kill mercilessly, steal from peasants and, as a result, often meet with violent ends.

**Get the March 2008 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article.**

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