The Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China was built over a 14 year period starting in 1406. It was designed for the Chinese Emperor to come and offer prayers for a good harvest. The rituals performed there were so sacred that the Chinese commoners were not even allowed to watch. The quality of the harvest was considered to be dependent on the Emperor’s ability to perform the rituals down to the smallest detail. If the Emperor made even the slightest of mistakes, the harvest could be jeopardized.
In 1918 the Temple of Heaven Park was opened to the public. Now the park is known for it’s rich history and beautiful architecture. Tourists come from all over the world to see the park. People gather in the park to exercise, play music, and enjoy each other’s companionship.
Dozens Gather In Protest
On Sunday November 3, 2013, people gathered outside the Temple of Heaven Park with something other than jubilance in mind. Over the past 10 years there have been plenty of stray cats ( many of whom were abandoned there by their owners) that call the park home. Locals enjoyed coming out to feed the cats. Park-goes claim that since the beginning of October they have found dozens of dead cats piled around the park. The protesters who showed up to demonstrate believe that the cat killings are the work of park officials. Park officials had little to say, except that they would beef up security to stop dead cats from being disposed of in the park.
Could the cat killings be the result of a predatory animal? Are people just dumping their dead pets at the park? Are the park officials trying to lessen the population of strays? We may never know what happened to these cats. It is good to see the Chinese people standing up in defense of these cats. Hopefully the killings will come to an end now that they’ve been brought to light.