Malaysia’s cat city may have embraced its feline name wholeheartedly but did you know its name may not have been derived from the Malay word for cat after all?
Although there are many theories as to how the city got its name (from the name of a stream to being a derivative of the port city Cochin), critics are quick to refute claims that the word comes from “kucing”.
This is because the Sarawakian word for “cat” is pusak.
No matter the origin, Kuchingites are proud of their city’s feline association with them and have incorporated cat elements into various aspects of their city’s landmarks.
There is I-CATS, the International College of Advanced Technology Sarawak, the Quiik Cat bed and breakfast, Meow Meow Cat Café, and Sarawak’s first private radio station, Cats FM, in addition to manhole covers with cat motifs, murals and statues.
Uppre hunted down seven cat statues in Kuching that you too can visit during your next visit to Sarawak’s capital.
1. Kuching North City Hall Family Cat Statue
The most iconic amongst all the cat statues of Kuching, the Kuching North City Hall Family Cat Statue is strategically located along the Kuching waterfront where many shopping complexes and hotels like the Grand Margherita are located.
Featuring a playful litter with pensive parents, the fountain lights up at night, making it just as interesting during any time of the day.
2. Kuching South City Council Cat Statue
Bandar Kuching is managed by two different city councils – the North City Hall and the South City Council.
Also known as the Padungan Roundabout Cat Statue, the Kuching South City Council Cat Statue was built by – you guessed it – the Kuching South City Council, similar to the iconic cat family installation.
However, this statue of a friendly white cat waving is the first of the cat statues to ever be built in the city and is dear to all Kuchingites.
Built in the 1990s, this statue sits in front of the gateway to Jalan Padungan and is dressed up in various traditional outfits depending on the celebration.
3. Chan Chin Ann Cat Tower
This foursome that surrounds the column between Jalan Chan Chin Ann and Jalan Padungan are miniature versions of their larger aforementioned cousin, frozen in the similar waving pose.
Another installation by the South City Council, the totem also features traditional Sarawakian motifs and the rafflesia flower.
4. Kuching Waterfront Bronze Cats
An installation by the Cat Museum of Kuching, nine cats flank a pole providing information about the museum and its opening hours.
Made of bronze, these playful kitties have been captured lounging around and entrapping a rat in front of the James Brooke Bistro & Café.
5. Malaysia-China Friendship Garden Cat Statue
This adorable pair of “lovecats” call the Malaysia-China Friendship Garden, located not far from the Kuching International Airport, home.
Built in 2005 on 2.8 hectares of land, the park was funded by the governments of Malaysia and China.
6. Scrap Metal Cat Statue by UiTM Kuching
Affectionately known as “Kucing Transformers” by the locals, this Scrap Metal Cat Statue built by students of the UiTM Sarawak Faculty of Arts and Design is located at the Kuching Esplanade, by the entrance of Kuching’s India Street.
The scrap metal for the project was provided by Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) and the sculpture was completed in 2015, making it the latest amongst the cat statues of Kuching.
7. Kuching Cat Museum
A must-visit for all cat lovers, the Muzium Kucing Kuching was built in 1993 and is owned by the Kuching North City Hall (DBKU).
A large “cat” façade greets patrons by the door, which leads to over 4,000 cat-related artefacts including paintings and a mummified cat from ancient Egypt.
The museum is free to the public, but there is a charge for photography.
All images of the cat statues of Kuching are by UPPRE, unless stated otherwise.
This article first appeared in uppre.com