Caring for “Road Cats” in South Korea

"My Own Stamp"

Stray cats in South Korea are known as 길고양이 or “road cats” (meaning stray cats). Until very recently Koreans didn’t really keep pets; dogs were for protection and cats were use-less in general. Now everybody wants a pet, until they are no longer fun, which is when they get “released” into the street. Cats and dogs have become real pests, killing the local wildlife.

However some people do sympathize with the “road cats” and have organized welfare groups using “My Own Stamp” (나만의우표) personalized labels to raise awareness and money to help feed these homeless and wretched cats. A cat-lover makes a set of labels each month with the slogan 고양이는 고양이다 (“A cat is a cat”), meaning every cat is valuable.

Here are some recent examples of these sheets from the account “ckfzkrl” (김하연) on Deskgram:

The February 2018 release of the 고양이는 고양이다 sheets.
The September 2016 release of the 고양이는 고양이다 sheets.
The November 2016 release of the 고양이는 고양이다 sheets.
Examples of two different sheet layouts used for the October 2018 release of the 고양이는 고양이다 sheets.
As you can see, these sheets are this type of “My Own Stamp” sheet.

The series has been going on for quite some years now. Here are two examples from 2007 using the then current form of the My Own Stamp option. Notice that at this time you didn’t actually get your own stamp but your own stamp label (seal, cinderella). This is different from today. Nowadays when ordering your own stamps you get real stamps, with their own postal validity.

Examples from 2007 (from “pygmalion“). These stamps are listed as U21 (released 1 November 2006) in the KPSC.
The April 2015 of the stamps series. Note the 300 won denomination printed on the stamp, meaning these are individual stamps and not merely labels. Listed as U38 (released 1 August 2013) in the KPSC.
CatMews and the Cats on Stamps Study Unit
This is a slightly extended version of a short article which was published originally in “CatMews“, the journal of the “Cats on Stamps Study Unit” (COSSU) of the American Topical Association.

Cover and page with original article of CatMews (Autumn 2019).
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