Tsai Ing-wen is a cat lover (ailurophile)

It is nice to know that the first female president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, is a cat lover, a democracy campaigner and a gay-rights champion. Those three topics go together quite nicely, don’t they? I think you will find that the vast majority of cat lovers also support democracy and gay-rights and the rights of all individuals because they are often thinking, independent-minded people.

Tsai Ing-Wen and her two cats
Tsai Ing-Wen and her two cats: Think Think on the left and Ah Tsai on the right. Photo: Twitter.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Tsai Ing-wen was elected Taiwan’s president in January 2016 when she was the leader of the opposition Democratic Progressive party. She is a former law professor. During her presidency she has often posted photographs of herself and her cats: ‘Think Think’ and ‘Ah Tsai’, on social media websites. Think Think is a female, gray tabby cat. Ah Tsai is a male ginger or marmalade cat.

I would like to know why she called her gray tabby Think Think. It is an interesting and unusual name which indicates that either she believes that her cat is thoughtful or that her cat’s presence makes her think more effectively ?. Perhaps she does a lot of are thinking with Think Think on her lap! She was adopted in 2012 after she was brought to her as a homeless kitten by a female politician of the Democratic Progressive Party, Hsiao Bi-khim, who found her on a muddy road by a railway station.

The ginger tabby cat’s name, ‘Ah Tsai’ means “talent”. He was a farm cat and a gift from a friend during the president’s presidential campaign. He was found near a pineapple field in Taitung County in eastern Taiwan.

Tsai Ing-Wen on a campaign poster with Think Think her gray tabby rescue cat
Tsai Ing-Wen on a campaign poster with Think Think her gray tabby rescue cat. Photo: Twitter.

And so, both Tsai Ing-wen’s cat companions are genuine rescue cats plucked from obscurity, in the wild, to now live with one of the most high-profile politicians in the world who resolutely defends democracy on the island of Taiwan much to the annoyance of the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi whose attitude towards animals is in stark contrast.

Her admirable adoption of rescue cats was also evident in July 2020 when she visited the Hsinchu Animal Protection Education Park and made a statement urging citizens who wish to adopt a cat to always adopt stray cats instead of purchasing purebred cats. This is the sign of a true cat and animal lover. She is obviously a very genuine person.

People comment on the fact that the president of China, Xi Jinping, does not have, on all accounts, a pet dog or cat. One commenter said that it would be a sign of weakness if there were photographs of him with a cat or dog. We don’t know whether his family has a dog companion. It’s almost certain there’s no connection between him and cats! That would be a terrible image for him. He has publicly supported the eating of cat and dog meat. These animals are brutally slaughtered before being eaten. A reflection on President Xi’s mentality.

It is interesting that Tsai Ing-Wen is very happy to be photographed with her cats and even, as you can see in the photograph above, campaigned with her gray tabby, indicating personal confidence in her image whereas President Xi Jinping is far more cautious it seems about his image and appears to avoid being photographed with a companion animal as it is believed that it would be a sign of weakness. Arguably, it is a sign of weakness to try and portray a sign of strength.

Wang Xi insults Tsai Ing-wen
Wang Xi insults Tsai Ing-wen. Photo: Twitter.

This is particularly relevant at this very moment after US Speaker Pelosi visited Taiwan to the chagrin of China followed by extensive military live exercises just outside Taiwan to try and make a statement about the strong possibility that China will invade Taiwan and take the country by force.

P.S. Tsai In-wen also lives with three dogs. She adopted them in October 2016, and their names are Bella, Bunny and Maru. She is an animal lover more than a cat lover.

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