Mr Chen, 72, lives in a block of flats in Xi’an, China. In China people go away during Chinese New Year to see relatives. Sometimes they go away for some time. Downstairs he heard the sound of a cat crying. This happened time and time again. Over time the cries became weaker. Mr Chen became more concerned.
Mr Chen knocked on the door of the flat from where the kitten was crying and he heard the kitten come to the door. He heard the kitten meowing and responding to his presence on the other side of the door.
With the passage of time, and the continual crying he became more and more concerned. He did not know what was happening behind the door and he did not know if the young cat was hungry or not. He thought the kitten may starve to death. He had difficulty sleeping. He decided that he had to do something about it and save the life of this cat.
He did not know the landlord or the tenant who lived below. He had no contact details. He went to the district property office to see if he could find contact details. Surprisingly, they could not help. They did not have the landlord’s phone number and neither were they able help in contacting the tenant.
Unperturbed, Mr Chen continued with his quest and searched for acquaintances of the tenant in the neighbourhood. He asked about the landlord or tenant but once again failed to find contact details.
Meanwhile, the cat cries below were becoming weaker and more hoarse. He decided to call the local newspaper, the Chinese Business News. A reporter came around. As they approached the door of the flat the cat cried out again. They peeped through the letterbox but did not see the cat.
The reporter accompanied Mr Chen to the district property office. This time a member of staff found contact details of a former tenant. It appears that they discovered that the landlord was a company and at that time Mr Chen remembered that the owner may be an old colleague. It appears that the occupier of the flat was a guest of a member of the staff of this company. Although, I must say that I am employing a lot of guesswork because the story has been published in Chinese on a Chinese website and I am using a Google translation which is far from perfect.
Good news. Eventually the tenant arrived to open the door and Mr Chen was allowed to see the kitten he had been so concerned about. The kitten looked very excited. Mr Chen gently stroked his back. He smiled. The kitten was thin, obviously undernourished but it appears that the tenant had left some food and water.
It also appears that there was some sort of mixup between the tenant and a friend. Perhaps the tenant left his flat to see relatives over the Chinese New Year and had asked a friend to look after his cat but his friend had let him down.
Mrs Chen is clearly an animal advocate. He cried when he knew that the kitten he was concerned about was safe again. He had not slept for several days, said his wife.
Mr Chen said: “Everyone is equal, the life of cats and dogs is not inferior to people.”
He says that people should look after their pets carefully. He feels that there should be better communication within the neighbourhood to avoid these sorts of emergencies happening again and to enable people to help each other when in difficulty.
There are some great animal advocates in China. Their voices should be louder and they should lobby the government to introduce animal welfare laws.