Hawaii the cat belongs to Lau Siu-kwong and his wife Lau Fung-ying, owners of the Wan Chai pharmacy in Hong Kong. When their son taught her tricks as a kitten, they never thought the performing cat would turn into a social media celebrity!
Originally named Kitty, fans began calling the 13-year-old feline Hawaii because of her tropical-colored collars. It looks like she’s wearing a flower lei, as if she’s perpetually on an island vacation.
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Hawaii is known to frequenters of the Wan Chai pharmacy for her adorable tricks. And now, her antics have been viewed by people around the world.
Fan Justina Chong created a Facebook page, called Wanchai Cat, so she and her friends could share photos and videos of the performing kitty.
As the sensation swept the internet, animal rights activists questioned Hawaii’s well-being, going so far as to claim abuse. But in an article by South China Morning Post, Mr. Lau denied the accusations.
“She does it when she wants to…We didn’t force it. She only performs when she feels like doing so. She is a reserved cat and isn’t very easy-going. She doesn’t take everyone’s command, only mine,” he said in the article.
He went on to mention the bond that he and his pet share. “She likes to be around me. Whenever I go out or even go to the loo, she follows. Just like a puppy. She is attached to me. When I’m not around the shop, she comes look for me on the street.”
Since receiving worldwide attention, Hawaii has gained scores of followers. “People come every day to see her. People get disappointed if she sleeps in and they didn’t get to see her. Some of her fans come all the way just to see her and give her treats,” said Mr. Lau in the article.
Visit the South China Morning Post article to view a video interview of Mr. Lau and Hawaii.
(Feature images adapted from the Wanchai Cat Facebook page.)