Cats in Shanghai

Well, this story is a lot less cute than the last one, but it still has cats, and a happy ending. From Reuters:

The power of the Internet has saved more than 800 cats from being skinned and served up on Chinese dinner tables.
About 30 animal lovers rushed to a parking lot in Shanghai after reading an Internet posting sparked by animal rights activist Huo Puyang that said two trucks carrying cats in wooden boxes had been intercepted, Huo said on Monday…
…The felines were on their way to the booming southern province of Guangdong, where some residents pride themselves as gourmets who will eat anything that flies, crawls or swims.

What the story (or similar stories on the same incident from other sources) don't mention is how in China there is a distinction between which cats are prized pets and which are food. Long-hair cats like Persians are to be bred and prized, while the common short-hair cats like those in the photo above, or Luna, are potential meals (not that we want long-haired cats to be eaten, either). But it gets worse, some of these cats may have been pets:

Huo's daughter-in-law had been looking for their missing pets and stumbled into the trucks, one of which sped away. The daughter-in-law called Huo, whose animal-loving friends then sent out an Internet alert last Friday.

The activists ended up buying the cats from the driver, after police said there was no evidence that any of them were stolen pets.

For all we know, the poor kitties were actually destined to become pet food or toothpaste. Or maybe part of some shoddy plastic product at Wal Mart…but for now, there's a happy ending in their rescue:

They now hope to place them in homes after posting their pictures and profiles on the Internet.

“They were so frightened,” the report quoted one of the rescuers, Huo Puyang, as saying.

I'm generally not that into the whole pushing-democracy-in-China thing. I could care less about the Communist Party and such. But it is good to see Chinese activists standing up to the sleeze and corruption, whether its big businesses spiking products with poisons or truck drivers stealing cats off the street. The same article (in the “related link” below) documents other recent internet-organized actions in China.