Cat Weddings in China

《貍奴蜻蜓圖》李迪 宋

In China, bringing home a cat was a mix of tradition, poetry, & a touch of purr-suasion!

‘Cat Garden’ in the Song Dynasty records such an interesting ceremony: ‘Buying fish, threading through willows, escorting a cicada’.

《寫生圖冊·貓》沈周, 明
《寫生圖冊·貓》Shen Zhou, Ming

During the Xianfeng period of the Qing Dynasty, Huang Han(黃漢) wrote the book ‘Cat Garden(《貓苑》),’ collecting stories about cats.

Among the common practices of raising cats, the easiest method was to wait for a neighbor’s or relative’s female cat to become pregnant and obtain permission from the owner. 

12 Chinese Cat Poems by Lu You

An imaginary image of Lu You with his beloved cat, artist unknown

In the general impression, Lu You(陸游) is a famous patriotic Chinese poet of the Southern Song Dynasty, full of melancholy. However, compared to lofty mountains, flowing rivers, in reality, he was a devoted cat lover.

Chinese Cat Poems Written by Lu You

Lu You’s famous patriotic poem titled ‘Stormy Winds on November Fourth(《十一月四日風雨大作》)’ is well-known in China, as it appears in many high school textbooks.



Lying stiff in a solitary village, no self-pity within, Still contemplating guarding the frontier for the nation’s win.