On the shores of Inle Lake in Myanmar sits the Nga Hpe monastery, renowed, among other things, for its troupe of acrobatic cats. The monks have trained these cats to jump through hoops. Their story is recounted in the L. A. Times piece “Catapulting to fame at a quiet lake monastery.”
The legend of the first jumping cat of Nga Phe Kyung was born about 22 years ago when a young monk was meditating and a cat came to curl up in his crossed legs. The monk tried to remain focused on his breathing, but his concentration was broken.
He opened his eyes and tried to make the cat move. No sooner did he do that than the cat jumped high in the air. The monk was taken aback, because he had never seen a cat jump as high.
The same thing happened the next day, and so it came to be that each time the monk meditated the cat would come and jump. As time passed, the monk and the cat became friends, and the monk began to encourage the cat to jump as high as it could, at first over his hands, then over bamboo sticks and, finally, through hoops.
See them in action:
More LOLzy photos here.