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Myanmar’s Jumping Cats

After hearing Victoria’s stories about the levitating cats and the stunning beauty of Lake Inle with its floating markets and villages, gilded temples, lakeside weavers and children who row their boats with their knees, I was all ready to pack my bag, my camera and some kitty treats and go! But then while researching the jumping cats a bit further to write this post, I learned that the military junta that runs the country with an iron fist had enough with the jumping cats and recently – and inexplicably – shut the show down.

No one apparently knows why, but it is quite likely that as more tourists made their way to the monastery, the monks improved their English and they started engaging visitors about the less-than-pleasant political situation that has choked the country for decades. If so, the cantankerous generals who rule the nation would not be amused. Or maybe some official in Rangoon demanded a bribe from the monks at Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery – after all they were rolling in alms from all of the tourists – but the monks refused.

Who knows what the real story is, but I do hope Myanmar transitions soon to a more benevolent government, that the monks can resume welcoming visitors to their magical monastery and that, of course, Buddha’s jumping cats will be allowed to jump again to the delight of people from around the world.
















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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.


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4:45PM PDT on Apr 8, 2014


12:09AM PDT on Oct 16, 2013


6:45AM PDT on Sep 3, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

11:54PM PDT on Jul 28, 2013

So cute. Thanks for sharing.

11:45PM PDT on Jul 28, 2013

thanks for sharing this

3:34AM PDT on Jul 20, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

3:14AM PDT on Jul 20, 2013

I'm pretty certain that doesn't make my list of must see things.

5:05PM PDT on Jun 30, 2013

I do not know if they are being spayed or neutered...being that there are kittens pictures, I would think unlikely....

10:26AM PDT on Jun 28, 2013

I love cats! I have dedicated my life to rescuing them & helping manage feral colonies through TNR & caring for them, providing food, water & shelter & monitoring for illness or injury. I love to see the monks bonded to these cats. Cats are amazing, intuative, loving & yes, spititual creatures. I am however concerned that these cats may not being spay/neutered. The picture below the video clip shows a little girl w/ 2 kittens on her lap. I pray some intervention can occur to assure all these cats are spay/neutered & receive their FVRCP vaccinations.

10:23AM PDT on Jun 28, 2013

Never heard of them before..thanks so much for sharing that. Those monks all over do such good work

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