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A young Ph.D. student and his 'underground cat city'

By Zhao Tong (People's Daily Online)    17:03, August 28, 2019

In Beijing, a young Ph.D. student has volunteered to raise about 150 stray cats in a basement while he studied his three-year degree, Beijing News reported on August 24, 2019.

Yin Yi stands under a lamp, picking up one of his beloved cats. (Beijing News/ Hou Shaoqing)

Yin Yi volunteered to take care of these cats in 2016. When he came to Beijing in 2015, he felt lonely. However, he found a small animal rescue center on Weibo which took in cats under the "TNR(capture - sterilize – release)" project. Thanks to the cats, his loneliness vanished.

"Spending time with these cats makes me feel better," said Yin.

Every morning, Yin arrives at the cat shed at 7 am, replacing the drinking water with a large plastic kettle, refilling the food bowls and checking the air purifier, before heading back to school.

Yin recalled that when he first visited, the cat shed was in bad condition. Luckily, the place has been upgraded since 2017. A photography influencer came to take photos and post them on Weibo, which attracted attention online and helped to bring in donations.

Yin Yi opens a parcel of supplies donated by warm-hearted people. (Beijing News/Hou Shaoqing)

As the number of donors grew, Yin set up a "donors group," which has welcomed 107 people in total.

"Cat supplies are no longer scarce, what we need most is people," Yin said.

There are only three long-term volunteers like him, and he worries that he won't be able to put in as much time in the future. He hopes to have more long-term volunteers and reliable people to adopt.

"I didn't really do anything," Yin Yi emphasized. He explained that these cats brought him a feeling of peace.

Although someone said this place is a paradise for cat lovers, Yin Yi still hopes this "underground cat city" will disappear one day, and all these "angels" find a better home. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Zhao Tong, Bianji)

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