KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 — If the antics of a single ‘oyen’ — an endearing nickname given by Malaysians to ginger or orange-coloured cats – are enough to cause a commotion, imagine what can happen if over 250 felines of this colour gather in one place?

It was certainly chaotic at the Largest Gathering of Orange Cats event held recently at gateway@KLIA2 and organised by the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Terminal 2 shopping mall in conjunction with its 10th anniversary as well as the release of animated comedy The Garfield Movie which will be screened in cinemas at the end of this month.

Cat lovers present at the venue were thrilled to watch the cute behaviour of various breeds of ginger cats — known for their sociable and friendly nature around humans.

One cat that stood out was a male American shorthair and Persian mix named King Oyen. It looked dapper, dressed in traditional Malay attire, complete with headgear and sunglasses. And, like a professional model, it posed confidently in front of the camera.

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“King Oyen loves attention and is an obedient cat that understands what I say,” said its proud owner Sofea Salleh, 51, who adopted the cat as her pet five years ago.

She said the name King Oyen was given by netizens after the antics of her beloved pet went viral on social media, including the cat’s relaxed demeanour whilst riding pillion on his mistress’ bicycle.

In fact, according to Sofea, King Oyen, whose original name was Macho Kingsley, would get stressed and act up if it does not get to ride the bicycle.

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She added Oyen’s antics have resulted in the cat being appointed ambassador for a cat food brand, thus creating an income stream.

A Garfield lookalike contest was also organised at the Largest Gathering of Orange Cats event. Hara won the top prize and its owner Adam Zailani, 26, took home RM500 cash.

Adam said this was the first time his pet was participating in a contest, adding he did not expect his four-year-old domestic cat to stand out among over 200 other feline competitors.

“My initial intention was just to give Hara some exposure and let her meet other ‘friends’ (orange cats), but this competition is great because usually events like this involve only expensive breeds. This event is different (as it featured cats of all breeds),” he said.

The Largest Gathering of Orange Cats event was organised in collaboration with the Malaysia Cat Club. Its president Khalid Rashid said the programme was aimed at providing exposure to cat owners and the public and educating them about caring for their feline pets.

“Orange cats, often called Oyen, are special and known to be mischievous. They are also garnering a lot of attention on the Internet nowadays. So, this time we wanted to organise something different from the programmes we organised previously,” he added. — Bernama