The regular trip out to the dog shelter at Asan was cancelled this weekend, officially due to the owners having visitors over but coincidentally while most volunteers were away being ogled at the Boryeong Mud Festival. I therefore decided to finally go and see the Nabiya cat shelter, just inbetween Namsan and the Han River.
The shelter turned out to be a huge and beautifully-appointed apartment (with an oven and everything), full to the brim with large cats. Some cats, who presumably don’t play well with others, were segregated behind insect screens in other rooms and the kittens were quarantined in the central bedroom.
On entering the place, I was immediately yowled at by hungry cats who hadn’t been fed since the previous evening and pestered for attention during my entire stay. Compared to Asan, there was much more “dirty” work to do (the shelter has no permanent staff), though the size of the place meant that everything got cleaned up in a couple of hours. I’d brought a laser pointer along (we don’t walk the cats, so they need all the exercise they can get), which proved a huge hit with the non-lazy residents and a great way to entice the more timid cats closer to humans.
All through my visit, I was almost playing a game of Minesweeper. Not only was every crate occupied (meaning I couldn’t clean under them), but cats would squeeze themselves into the space between a high cupboard and the ceiling, rocket out from behind boxes when you unintentionally strayed too close, attempt to get into the sink while you were refilling water dishes and generally appear in unexpected or inconvenient places. Now, I’m sure that this is perfectly normal cat behaviour – it just gets a little overwhelming when you have 20 adult cats doing it at the same time.