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Sunday, August 09, 2020, 17:22
Cats to comfort lonely readers in Tianjin
By Yang Cheng in Tianjin
Sunday, August 09, 2020, 17:22 By Yang Cheng in Tianjin

This is one of the seven cats that have begun their duties as "intern curators" at a library in Tianjin Tower. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

Seven cats began their duties as "intern curators" at a library in Tianjin Tower this week. They'll provide comfort to patrons who have been closed in at home because of the coronavirus.

Now it's opening again as a key part of Tianjin's "Fragrance of Books" project, which was launched by the city's publicity department to encourage people to read more

"On Aug 24, the cats will officially assume their duties at the Western Shore Book House, a library with thousands of books," said Wang Yuyan, general manager of the Western Shore Book House at Tianjin Tower.

The cats represent a variety of breeds — Ragdoll, Exotic Short-Hair and Chinchilla, to name a few. Their average age is one year.

The library has drawn attention as the highest library in Tianjin — 257 meters above the ground. It opened on Jan 18 but was quickly closed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Now it's opening again as a key part of Tianjin's "Fragrance of Books" project, which was launched by the city's publicity department to encourage people to read more.

The project is popular with residents, offering books to borrow for free.

The library — augmented by the slinky felines —is envisioned as a place where lonely people can find solace during the pandemic.

The tower, which rises 451 meters, is a landmark in Tianjin that provides panoramic views from its top.

Tianjin Tower, a Tianjin landmark, is 451 meters tall. It offers panoramic views from its top. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

It was completed in 1991 and was thought to be the highest building in Asia in the early 1990s. It remains one of the world's few towers built over a lake.

A look inside the Western Shore Book House, a library inside Tianjin Tower, a landmark in Tianjin. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

This cat doesn't seem interested in being a library curator. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

Another one of the cats. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

Two of the seven cats that will prowl around Tianjin Tower as "intern curators" at Western Shore Book House, a library 257 meters above the ground. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)


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