Meet Uncle Cat, a guardian of stray cats in Guangzhou

Zhang Long
Meet Uncle Cat, a 73-year-old volunteer in Guangzhou who has been caring for stray cats on Baiyun Mountain for over three decades.
Zhang Long

In Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, there's a group of volunteers devoted to animal welfare, especially protecting the stray cats.

One of them is Zheng Chengfa, affectionately known among cat lovers as Uncle Cat, a 73-year-old man who has been taking care of stray cats on Baiyun Mountain for over three decades.

Meet Uncle Cat, a guardian of stray cats in Guangzhou

Zheng walks up the mountain.

Zheng has lost count of how many cats he has saved. Up to now, there are 11 make-shift cat shelters that he set up. Every shelter has enough food for at least five cats.

It's not rare to see animal abusers, he said. He has seen people placing traps and trying to poison the cats, or just simply hurt them for pleasure.

To keep the cats away from harm, the shelters are hidden in the depth of the forest in the mountain, making the everyday hike even further.

Meet Uncle Cat, a guardian of stray cats in Guangzhou

One of the shelters

Knowing his health condition, Zheng's wife tried to stop him feeding the cats but to no avail.

Almost all of the cats on the Baiyun Mountain knows Uncle Cat. They would gather around at his holler.

Since Zheng started feeding them, the couple had to use a large part of their pension to buy cat food and meat to diversify their diet, as well as paying for the cats' sterilization and taking the sick ones to local pet clinic.

"My wife and I can live on a budget. If the cat's food ran out, the cats on the mountain might not make it." Zheng said in an interview.

Zheng's good deeds have touched many people. A fundraiser has been initiated by an independent pet media that aims to raise enough money to buy 10,000 kilos of cat food for Zheng.

So far, more than 1,000 people have pitched in.

Meet Uncle Cat, a guardian of stray cats in Guangzhou

Cats gather around whenever Zheng shows up.

Meet Uncle Cat, a guardian of stray cats in Guangzhou
Meet Uncle Cat, a guardian of stray cats in Guangzhou

Zheng and his wife

Meet Uncle Cat, a guardian of stray cats in Guangzhou

Zheng and his wife takes cats to a local pet clinic.

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