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'Crazy' cat lovers care for Beirut straysA small army of stray cats appears from the shadows of a parking lot, surrounding a gray-haired woman in her mid-50s. Neither Marianne nor anyone else knows the number of cats in Beirut.In fact, no one knows for sure how or why cats came to live among humans in the first place.Recent studies suggest that cats probably started making themselves at home around people approximately 10,000 years ago.THIRTEEN YEARS FEEDING CATSNevertheless, the cat population of Beirut is still breeding and sustaining itself.Laila's devotion to animals is clear as soon as she opens the door to her apartment -- an 80-square-meter space, where she lives with 45 cats and 11 dogs.According to recent academic studies, cats are sensitive to depressive moods of humans.Hiam is fully aware that cats recognize humans.She feeds, talks to and nurses approximately 200 cats a day in various locations around Beirut.She is also planning to devote her afterlife to cats, saying that she wants her grave to be a fountain for cats to drink from.
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