Just like every other day, Dongsuk the cat picked up the bagged food and carried it away. But this time, determined to find out where the cat was headed, the woman who’d provided the food decided to turn detective. To this end, she followed Dongsuk to a lonely rooftop, where the cat dropped the bag and waited. In the shadows, the woman followed suit. Would the cat-loving sleuth finally discover what on earth was going on?
On September 26, 2017, SBS TV uploaded a video to YouTube featuring an unidentified Korean woman with a passion for cats. Not only did the woman work at an animal shelter, but she also took her dedication one step further. You see, the woman spent her evenings feeding local strays.
For five years, the kind-hearted woman’s generosity had been helping to keep the neighborhood street cats alive. And the cats all looked forward to filling their bellies with the lady’s daily treats. All except one cat, that is. The ginger and white stray that the woman called Dongsuk had peculiar habits indeed.
It wasn’t that Dongsuk was aggressive; she just seemed fussier with her food than the other feral cats. Whereas the woman’s street cat clowder took food straight from a bowl, Dongsuk ignored anything offered in this way. And the picky cat’s actions baffled the animal worker.
The woman said that in all the years she’d been feeding the strays, she hadn’t seen any cat behave like Dongsuk. But unorthodox eating habits notwithstanding, the stray was obviously hungry. With this in mind, the woman tried offering Dongsuk other types of cat food.
In addition to dry supplies, the woman tried to tempt Dongsuk with wet food, too. But neither seemed to appeal to the feral cat. However, just when it all seemed hopeless, the lady made a breakthrough. On a whim, she offered Dongsuk some dried food in a plastic baggie.
And this seemed to do the trick. For some reason, Dongsuk favored the bagged food over everything else, but still the cat’s unusual behavior continued. You see, Dongsuk didn’t open the bag and eat the food where it had been left. Instead, she picked the bag up with her teeth and ran off with it.
Still, the woman was overjoyed that the cat was finally eating something. And now that she knew the secret behind getting the cat to eat, each day the lady prepared Dongsuk a little baggie of food. And sure enough, every night the cat came to collect her treat before taking off for her mysterious dinner date.
Despite her relief that Dongsuk was finally eating, the woman couldn’t stop thinking about the rest of the puzzle. Where was the cat going, and what was she doing there? Eventually, curiosity got the better of the Korean lady. So, one evening she decided to follow Dongsuk.
However, trailing the cat was no easy task, because even though Dongsuk was friendly, she was still feral. Understandably, the lady was reluctant to break the bond she’d formed with Dongsuk by scaring the cat away. So, she tailed the cat in secret.
Dongsuk’s unusual behavior continued when the cat led her pursuer to an old rooftop. Once there, the cat dropped her food baggie and waited. Then, a few minutes later, the reason for Dongsuk’s odd ritual revealed itself.
A tiny kitten responded to the older cat’s calls and came out of hiding to enjoy the delivered meal. At last, things became clear: Dongsuk was a mommy, and everything she was doing was for the benefit of her baby. Consequently, most of the food she dropped off went straight into her growing kitten’s belly.
Mommy cat’s selfless actions touched the shelter worker deeply, so much so that she was determined to help Dongsuk and her kitten. With that in mind, the woman asked some local people if they knew anything about the ginger stray. And the story she was told was full of tragedy and loss.
The woman found out that Dongsuk had originally given birth to not one, but five kittens. However, kittens are delicate beings, and the streets are an unforgiving environment. The video doesn’t reveal how, but it turns out that Dongsuk sadly lost four of her litter. Nevertheless, the woman was determined to do all she could to help the mom and her last remaining kitten. And getting them off the streets would be a good place to start.
It’s possible that losing four of her offspring served to strengthen Dongsuk’s bond with her sole surviving kitten – and consequently made a rescue more difficult. Taking things slowly seemed to be the sensible course of action. So, with the help of some friends, the woman first left out a warm blanket for Dongsuk and her kitten. Then the good Samaritans went back to spend some time in the cats’ company.
Dongsuk recognized the woman who fed him, but the lady found it harder to win the trust of the kitten. In the end, though, the two cats became more accustomed to human contact. And after building up some trust, the woman and her friends made their move.
Happily, it seems their softly-softly approach had worked wonders. With the two cats now used to human contact, the rescue equipment could be brought out. And in no time at all, the rescue party had both Dongsuk and her kitten safely ensconced in a net.
Next on the agenda was to shift the cats from the net to a cat carrier. Transfer successfully completed, the volunteers then took the cats to a shelter. There, rescuers provided the feline pair with everything they needed, safe from the threats they’d faced on the streets.
Incredibly, the YouTube footage has been viewed almost two million times. Moreover, the moving scenes have hit people across the globe in the feels. One commenter wrote in Korean, “[The video] is really very sincere, good luck. I am glad that they live in a better environment.”
Another person commented, “Thank you for your compassion and generosity. The world needs more loving people in it like you.” All that remained, then, was for Dongsuk and her kitten to find a forever home. And with any luck, that’s exactly where the adorable cats are right now.