Cat-Loving Protesters Prevent Feline Eviction from Chinese Museum

They should live a happy life, says one observer on Weibo.

A museum in Xi’an, China has rolled back its plans to evict a family of cats from its grounds after criticism on its Weibo page.

Housed in a former Confucian temple built in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), the Forest of Stone Steles Museum is about 675 miles southwest of Beijing in Shaanxi province. It attracts visitors with its extensive collection of some 11,000 objects, especially its namesake stele, or upright stone slabs, which feature key moments in history via elaborate carvings.

A family of cats living in the courtyard became national celebrities after numerous Weibo users posting photos of themselves with the four-legged museum residents.

A screengrab of the Weibo page of the Forest of Stone Steles Museum.

A screengrab of the Weibo page of the Forest of Stone Steles Museum.

The cats’ fate was uncertain after a small child was scratched after trying to play with one of the kittens, and the mother complained. When she informed the local tourist bureau of the incident, the museum opted to remove the cats, to the dismay of its Weibo followers.

“It is cruel to bring such cuteness into this world and not allow them to live a happy life,” writes Mo Ranying, according to China Daily. The paper also quotes Li Jingzhuo: “Please let the kittens stay. I haven’t visited the museum yet and I wish to see them when I am there.”

The museum announced its resolution in favor of the felines-in-residence on Weibo on Monday:

The cats can stay! Thank you everyone for their concern and support over the past few days. The museum will ensure to better supervise these cats, even providing them with vaccinations, insect repellent, and sterilization, and continue to put up signs warning visitors about interacting with the cats. We are dedicated to providing a warm and loving environment for the cats and our visitors.

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