Monday, January 31, 2011

THE KUCHING CAT MUSEUM

A map of the state of Sarawak.
Kuching is way over on the left side.
Well, since I wrote about a dog museum before, I thought I should write about a cat museum, just so that my kitty readers will be happy and will keep following my blog!  This cat museum looks like it would be a very interesting place, but it is located much farther away from where most of us live than the AKC Museum of the Dog is.  And that's because it's in the city of Kuching, which is the capital of the state of Sarawak, in the country of Malaysia.



Kuching skyline with the Sarawak River


The reason that the people of Kuching decided to make a cat museum was because the name of their city,  Kucing, means "cat" in the Malay language.  The actual idea for a cat museum came from the Chief Minister of Sarawak, YAB Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Hj Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife.  As you can see, the Chief Minister had a very long name, so if he had to spend time signing a lot of official papers, it is surprising that he also had time to think up the idea for a cat museum, but he did.  Or maybe his wife did, and he just said it was his idea, too.

The Cat Museum on the hill
Anyway, the Museum opened in 1993, and it is in a building that sits on a hill above Kuching.  The building has 1,035.9 square meters and 2,000 exhibits.  These exhibits are not so much fine art, like in the dog museum.  They are more like historical artifacts, legends, and stuff that tells about the meaning of the cat in different cultures.



Cat mummy
For instance, there is a mummy of a cat that lived in Ancient Egypt sometime between 3,000 BC and 3,500 BC.  The Egyptians thought cats were very special, and that's why they went to all the trouble to make mummies out of them after they died.  The reason they liked cats so much was because the Egyptians grew tons of grain and then stored it.  And cats liked to eat the mice and rats that liked to eat the grain, so the Egyptians were happy to have them around.  In fact, cats were so valuable that anybody who killed a cat was put to death.


Another thing you can see in the Kuching Cat Museum is the five types of wild cats that live in Borneo, including a stuffed example of the world's rarest cat, which is called Felis badia, and which lives in Borneo's rain forests.

There are lots of cat statues in Kuching
Cats are the most popular pets in Malaysia today, and it is mostly thought to be good luck to have cats around.  Except in tin mines, where cats are not allowed because they might bring bad luck.  Malaysian people used to believe that you could make it rain by soaking a cat in a pan of water.  I don't know if they still believe this or not, but I hope they don't because most of the cats I know wouldn't enjoy being soaked in a pan of water.





A whole bunch of wooden cats at the Cat Museum
So anyway, if you want to learn all sorts of interesting things about cats and also see all kinds of strange and crazy cat stuff, you can just take a little trip to Malaysia and visit the Kuching Cat Museum.  And if you go there, be sure to send me a postcard!

5 comments:

  1. Once again Piper, you are correct; regarding the statement that I should keep reading your blog to learn all kinds of things. To put it another way, as my WV relatives might say, "that there city gurl Pat is gettin cultured." I guess going to the cat museum might take a bit more planning, money, etc., than driving to St. Louis to see the Museum of the Dog....but I think both would be interesting. I should add, Dodi & Di are both very happy that you wrote about the cat museum! Take care and thanks again for today's blog.
    Love, AP

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Piper,
    I just LOVE your blog! I usually get distracted by your blog and I forget about my work. Your blog is just about the only thing that puts a smile to my face
    Love,
    Popstar Unknown

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Aunt Patty,
    You are right about how going to the Cat Museum would be more expensive than going to the Dog Museum, plus you would have to sit on a plane for many hours in one of those narrow little seats, so that is why Mom says we will not be going there anytime soon. But someday if we get really rich, maybe we can go. That's why I said that anybody who goes there should send me a postcard. Ha!
    Love, Piper

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Popstar Unknown,
    I am very glad that you love my blog! And I am even gladder that you wrote a comment to tell me you love it! I'm sure that reading my blog is much more fun and educational than doing any kind of work, so don't worry about getting distracted. If you want, I can write a note to your boss to explain why you are not getting your work done!
    Sincerely, Piper

    ReplyDelete