October 5, 1996 — The bride wore a pink satin dress and arrived by helicopter. The groom, dressed in a pink tuxedo with lacy cuffs, also came in style – by Rolls-Royce. But then the wedding on this day was no ordinary affair. The couple were Siamese cats.
“Diamond Eye” cats, as they are popularly known. The animals were carried in to the ceremony by their owner Vicharn Jarat-archa who ran a cosmetics business.
He had found Phet, the “groom”, earlier in the year at a spot along the Thai-Burma border. “Diamond Eye” cats are considered by many people in Thailand to bring good luck. It was certainly the case for Vicharn whose business boomed after his lucky cat find. So he went back and then found another, which was to become Ploy, the “bride”.
Vicharn said he arranged the “wedding” as a reward to Phet for bringing good luck to his business.
Some reward! The $28,000 ceremony, which was held at Thailand's biggest discotheque, the Phoebus Party House in Bangkok, was attended by about 500 human guests that included government officials.
Most were looking forward to a share in the good luck and brought gifts worth about $60,000 for Phet and Ploy who wore gold rings custom-made to fit their paws. A parrot acted the part of “best man” for the “groom”, Phet, and an iguana stood in as Ploy’s “maid of honour”.
The rare optical defect known as "diamond eye" may be a sign of good luck to some humans, but it is in fact a type of glaucoma which renders cats that suffer from it partially blind. A blue film forms over the affected eye.
Vicharn agreed to donate much of the money raised by the event to animal charities, especially for the treatment of cats. And he promised there would be eye operations for Phet and Ploy.
“We are not doing this for publicity, but to show that animals also have their rights, and that we love them,” he said.
Published: September 12, 2019