By FENG MAO
SHANGHAI (China Daily Show) — A long-term unemployed resident of a housing compound in downtown Shanghai has announced she is considering taking in yet another stray.
According to local shopkeepers, Donna Williamson, 36, has lived in the building nearly a decade, during which time she has accumulated 13 cats, four dogs and numerous other wildlife.
Shortly after emigrating from her native Australia in 2001, Williamson told friends she was “shocked” at the level of animal cruelty in Shanghai and was on a “one-woman mission to clean up the city.”
She later restricted her quest to a two-block neighborhood.
Williamson revealed to China Daily Show that the glamorous Eastern city was actually a hostile environment for animals – as well as foreign women.
“I left Australia partly because all the men there were lying arseholes. But I didn’t expect the Shanghai guys to be even worse,” she angrily admitted, before listing, at length, the generic faults of nearly every foreign man she has since encountered.
“And don’t get me started on the local guys,” Williamson continued. “I guess they can’t handle a full-figured womanly individual with opinions of her own!
“Plus a lot of them have allergies,” she added.
After withdrawing from society in 2004, Williamson began taking in local animals she found prowling the streets at night and has since had to move apartments three times to accommodate the growing hoard.
She has now amassed a chaotic collection of over 20 undomesticated mammals, whose exercise routines, veterinary requirements and feeding bills have left Williamson too exhausted to find employment.
“My parents are serious animal lovers, and also corporate lawyers, which means I can care for these little fellas full time,” Williamson said as she pursued a reluctant tomcat into a bedroom and dabbed a set of fresh scratches on her arm. “Otherwise, who else is going to do it? Who? Tell me that.”
Despite the veritable menagerie, a local storeowner told reporters that Williamson recently told him during a late-night shopping trip she was hoping to adopt yet one more cat.
“Rascal doesn’t get on with Gou, Champion or Mr Snuffles,” admitted Williamson. “So I figured if I introduced a new molly, that might calm him down. Or it might set off another power struggle between him and Pickles, you can’t predict.
“Life’s never dull, at least,” she added with an anxious smile.
Despite Williamson’s enthusiasm for amassing animals, locals admit they find the habit bizarre, even for an eccentric foreigner.
“She’s got cats, dogs, turtles, birds — even a rare species of muskrat,” said bewildered neighbor Lu Guofeng, 42. “I assumed she was opening some kind of restaurant.”
Follow this and other leading China news at @chinadailyshow on Twitter