Shaolin Kitten



I have only visited two sacred mountains while in China. There are temples built on the various peaks and plateaus. They are spectacular even if they are not as old as they look. One thing to think about as far as the age of some of these temples is that many are reconstructions meaning that, yes these are not ancient, but at one time a very old temple was built here by the use of tooth and nail and flesh and bone, but it burnt to the ground or some other disaster befell the temple, and it had to be rebuilt. They’re still amazing to see.

There are many commonalities in the architecture but the commonality to stand out to me were the cats. I know I’ve only been to two mountains, but I feel like I may find cats on the other three sacred mountains. What is funny or intriguing is that cats are not sacred in China- at least not in modern China. It isn’t as if the monks carried the cats up over 1,000 feet to worship and honor. They’re just there. They are your typical rag tag street cats. They just happen to live 1,000 plus feet at the edge of a temple. There are not any other animals, that I have seen, in these mountains. Some birds, but that’s it. No squirrels or chipmunks or lizards or any other animals that you may see when hiking. I think the predators may all be gone making the life of the temple cats pretty decent as far as safety is concerned. I find the lack of animals strange, perhaps sad and a little off-putting, but the presence of these “domesticated animals”- these are feral, but they are not wild cats, stranger−no not more strange−out of place.