So I was at this little place called in Inle Lake in Myanmar, and we (my Uncle and I) had been traveling in the country for a little over a week. The thing to do up at Inle is to hop in these very long wooden boats and be scooted around by guides. Inle is something of a poor man's venice, as entire towns are built on poles that sit just above the water.
So we cruise around to the floating market, the silk shop, the blacksmiths, the cigar makers... some pretty incredible sights to see and watching everyone work the way it's been done for hundreds of years was incredibly interesting.
By the end of the day though we were pretty tired and ready to head back to our room... but the guide told us one more stop. "No, no," we said, "we're finished." Despite our protests he pulled into this random island with a small monastery on it.
So we go inside and the first thing I noticed was all the statues of Bhudda were kind of in a corner... odd. The next thing I notice is the floor is made of linoleum... odd. The next thing I notice is pictures of cats EVERYWHERE... very odd.
So we walk around for a bit and are like... yep... it's another monastery. Ok then. (we'd seen hundreds by that point) And we say to the guide, "can we go now?" He gives us the head shake and 'wait, wait' hands. Ok, ok...
So a few minutes later this bell rings, and out come 4 or 5 monks. One of them takes a handful of catfood and throws it across the floor, and tens of cats come running. Weird...
Then a monk rings the bell again and about 6 of these cats form a line, and the monk pulls out a red, I'd say 1.5' diam hoop. He then proceeds to tap the lead cat on the chin with the hoop and hold the hoop about 3 feet in the air... and the cat JUMPS THROUGH THE HOOP!!!
The entire line of cats does this, with the lead cat getting back in line when he was done!!!
They did this for about 5 minutes and that was it... show was over. Nothing quite like cats jumping through hoops held by monks to put a smile on your face... and thanks to the guide for insisting on a trip to the "Jumping Cat Pagoda!"