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Malaysia ‘Catwoman’ Pampers 48 Felines

REUTERS

Pearly (The Catwoman) Chong’s love affair with cats began a decade ago when she took in a family of strays.

Today Chong’s bungalow on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur vibrates to the purring of no fewer than 48 cats, ranging from pure-bred Persian, Siamese and Burmese to common strays.

Chong dotes on them all, pedigree or not.

“There should have been 52 of them but four died of kidney failure recently,” said Chong, her eyes watering as she recalled the burial of her pets in a sprawling garden that now holds the remains of 10 of her furry companions.

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“They are my children and it’s a full-time job,” said the petite 40-year-old housewife, who also keeps 13 dogs.

The wife of a commercial pilot, Chong said her collection of cats grew as more strays, some of them pregnant, found their way into her home and heart over the years.

As her interest in cats grew, she decided to breed and sell Persians.

“But soon I found it too painful to sell them. I cried each time I sold one. Besides, I feel it is unfair to the cat to give birth so often,” she said.

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“I had to part with the kittens within three months of their birth, otherwise I would grow too attached to them. I interviewed each client and later visited them to check if the cats were all right,” she said.

“I couldn’t sleep if I found they were not.”

All six cats she entered in a major Malaysian competition last September won prizes, including Pein Pein (Flat Nose), a 4-year-old Persian who took the “Best Malaysian Bred Cat” and two other titles.

Another of Chong’s cats, Tassy Star, took the “Best Siamese” title and was named Grand Champion for consistently winning that category in Malaysian shows since 1985.

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