Kuching: As Christians celebrate Christmas on Dec 25, it cannot be denied that decorations and Christmas songs played in shopping malls and streets have stirred up the festive mood.
Also joining in the festivities is the nine-foot-tall Kuching South City Council cat statue in Padungan, otherwise known as The Great Cat of Kuching, who never misses any festival celebrated by the multi-racial community in the state.
Usually at this time of the year, the statue is seen wearing the Santa Claus costume and bedecked with beautiful decorations and lighting to mark the Yuletide season.
Besides Christmas, the cat is also dressed in custom-made traditional costumes during other major festivals in the state such as Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa, Gawai Dayak and Deepavali.
As the design and decorations of the cat change from time to time, it is understood that a meeting is always held prior to festive seasons to decide on a suitable costume, designs and decorations for the cat.
The statue was put up in Aug 1, 1988 to commemorate City Day. It sits at the junction between Jalan Central and Jalan Padungan, and has never failed to attract both local and foreign tourists looking for the city's identity.
Apart from being the city's mascot, the cat statue also welcomes people entering Padungan Street, which is one of the busiest streets in Kuching.
There are other cat statues located at the end of Jalan Padungan and Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman.
Cat lovers who want to learn more about cats may visit Kuching Cat Museum, which is located in Kuching City North Commission building in Bukit Siol.
Founded in 1993, the museum houses about 2,000 exhibits, artefacts and statues of cats from all over the world.--Courtesy of The Borneo Post Online