Vietnamese woman brings home stray cats and dogs

Thanh Nien News

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Le Thi Quy lives in alley 91 off Dinh Tien Hoang Street in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. 
Her house has no address, but neighbors said she doesn't need one.
Quy's home is the lowest, darkest, most ramshackle structure in an alley of mostly well-built multi-storied houses.
A sheet of old fencing stretches from the top of her front gate to her roof, so that thieves won’t climb in.
If that still doesn’t help, just ask for “the cat lady.”
Quy left her hometown of Hanoi and went south after her marrying at 17. 
Her daughter was born a year later, right before the couple divorced. Quy moved in with an uncle and sold vegetables and fish sauce to put food on the table.
Her daughter married and settled in the US.
At some point in her loneliness, Quy developed a soft spot for anything unwanted.
Now she hosts more than 50 animals, most of them cats, in her roughly 30 square meter house.
The 80-year-old has been bringing the animals home for years.
A neighbor said Quy has almost no relatives, so they sometimes help her with a little money or food.
“Every once in a while, she brings home several dogs or cats that people turned out into the street. It’s heartbreaking seeing her busy with them,” the neighbor told news website Afamily.
Quy frequently brings home newborns which she either bottle-feeds or teaches to suckle from a cat that's just delivered.
She found most of the cats abandoned, old and sick, on the street.
“Some people are strange. They love the cats when they're cute and little and throw them away when they old. I don't reject any cats,” Quy said.
Quy usually refuses to receive visitors, believing her house is too messy and stinks because she has no time to clean it up.
She makes most of her living selling fish sauce at Da Kao market between 5am and 2pm every day. That brings in a few dollars a day.
Once she gets home, she feeds the animals and cleans their mess.
“It takes until nearly midnight,” she said.
She cooks them a kilogram of rice with VND30,000-40,000 (less than US$2) of fish a day. She buys the fish; people who know her usually donate rice and other food.
The house lacks a bed, she and her animals sleep on the abundant sheets of newspaper strewn throughout the house.
“The animals are quiet at night. They don’t run around making noise like during the day.”
The more naughty cats sleep in the attic while the milder ones stay on the ground floor. “But they’re all lovely,” she said.
Quy remembers the characteristics of each of them and where she found them.
She pointed to one kitten and recalled how she'd found it while visiting a pagoda recently.
In the same breath, she recalled how she rescued a litter of four on nearby Tran Quang Khai Street in addition to two cats that a girl brought over after seeing them desperately following their owner who'd just thrown them away.
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