At the back of a restaurant in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City, cats stand paws splayed against the bars of their tiny wooden cage, soon to be submerged in hot water. The drowned carcasses are shaved and their skins burned, meters from a pile of ageing, silent bones. Often grilled or stir-fried in a marinade of garlic and peppers, the meat is best served with an accompaniment of beer or rice wine. Sitting on stools, two groups of men await their food. “My restaurant has been running for three years. Cat meat is exotic and expensive, perfect for those with good taste. Customers can pay up to VND2 million ($86.34) for a black cat,” says owner Cuong. It is difficult to cook cat meat, he adds, noting he first learnt the recipe from a relative in northern Thai Binh Province. Cuong’s restaurant serves up to five cats a day, “though by the end of lunar months, the number could double thanks to the belief the meat helps avoid bad luck.” The owner describes cat as softer and sweeter than pork or dog meat, an attractive quality among carnivorous clientele. Cats, or “little tigers”, are traditionally viewed as a… Read full this story
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