On this day, October 5, 1996, a beautiful bride wore a pink satin dress and arrived by helicopter. And the groom, dressed in a pink tuxedo with precious lacy cuffs, also came in style, with a Rolls-Royce.
Not an ordinary affair…as the couple were cats.
In details, “Diamond Eye” cats, as they are popularly known. The couple was 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. In any case, “Diamond Eye” cats are considered by many people in Thailand to bring good luck (a little bit like in Japan…do you remember Maneki Neko?). Coincidence or not, It was certainly the case for Vicharn whose business boomed after his lucky cat find. So he went back and then found another cat, which was to become Ploy, the bride.
Vicharn said he arranged the curious wedding as a reward to his cats for bringing good luck to his business.
And what a wedding! 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. In addition, 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, with a parrot acted the part of best man for the groom, Phet, and an iguana stood in as Ploy’s maid of honour.
After the ceremony, the couple was sent on a honeymoon river cruise, to be followed by visits to the vet.
In all seriousness, the rare optical defect known as “diamond eye” may be a sign of good luck to some humans, but it is actually a type of glaucoma which renders cats that suffer from it partially blind, with a blue film that forms over the affected eye.
Happy ending, 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.