"Borrow a kitten to keep you company for 9.9 yuan" a slogan on a pet shop's commercial board in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, has made this seemingly ordinary shop the center of public attention as it provides an arguably jaw-dropping service: renting out cats in what is being called a "kitten-sharing" service.
The "items-to-rent" are 10 1-year-old British shorthairs. As one of the most popular breed in China, these lovely animals were helping the shop turn a pretty penny as all 10 have been lent out as of Friday, according to a media reporter who covertly visited the shop.
In addition to the "standard fee" of 9.9 yuan, "cat lovers" who are interested in the service also need to pay a deposit ranging from 1,200 yuan to more than 10,000 yuan according to cat breed.
Just like renting a home, renters need to provide their ID, sign a contract and provide a photo of their living space to show it is pet-friendly.
"The photo does absolutely nothing since people can do a thorough cleaning to fake the situation. The 'person' is important. I'd only sell my pets when I had some sense about the client. There are many people obsessed with cute cats, but some just want to take advantage of them, not take care of them," Gao, a 32-year-old pet shop owner, told the Global Times, explaining why he objects to the pet shop's rental policy.
Some netizens were agitated soon after the news of the pet shop's unusual service began to spread.
Some pointed out the potential health risks such as suicidal behavior it poses to animals as it could cause them stress or lead to depression to frequently be moved around.
Some others used the occasion to protest against the exploitation of animals' lovable nature, calling for people to stop taking advantage of them for financial purposes.
be obsessed with 痴迷于……
agitate [ˈædʒɪteɪt] v. 摇动;煽动;使…激动
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