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The city of Kuching, in the state of Sarawak in Malaysia, is full of cats. There are cats on the sidewalk, at traffic signals, in parks, inside roundabouts and on rooftops. But unlike other cities, most of Kuching’s feline population is in the form of statues and sculptures, installed by the city’s cat-obsessed folks.

The obsession stems from the city’s name. “Kuching” is thought to be a derivative of the Malay word “kucing”, which means cat, but it is equally likely that the name came from “cochin”, a Chinese word for port. Others believe that the name was derived from a fruit called "mata kucing" that grows widely in Malaysia and Indonesia. Local history also suggest that the city was named after a small stream called "Sungai Kuching" or Cat River in English, that ran through the town. The stream has since been filled in and built over.

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Photo credit: JKT-c/Wikimedia

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