Will someone who speaks Chinese please tell me what is going on here?!

Part real cat, part puppet, part CGI. And a llllllll redonk, this hilarious TV ad from China is making the rounds. BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN!?

Sender-Inner Ant of Quality Foraged Links sent this one in.


  1. Thanks! I had the right idea, but that made it clear ;-)

  2. Well all I know is that camel must be related to the petite lap giraffes!

  3. I had to watch it again, be/c I thought, “what the heck camel are you talking about?! It was a cat!” :)

  4. I had no idea you had to go through Egypt to get from Hong Kong to Tibet :)

  5. That was epic.

  6. I have no idea, but that cat looks just like Skippy.

  7. skippymom says:

    Who, by the way, would offer to go on such a quest if I were dying, but I would send Chloe instead.

  8. I was just wishing I had a cat who loved me so much that he would go to such lengths for me! How lucky you are! Even if by proxy. Lol.

  9. My Lizzie stayed by my side (watching me like a hawk) when I was back in high school and was laid up with bronchitis. Lizzie, where ever you are on the rainbow bridge-thank you.

  10. Stitch's slave says:

    It’s an ad for a pharmacy chain store. Story goes that the young cat owner is very sick, and during the doctor’s house visit the cat thinks that the best thing to save her will be to find the miracle herb located on the slopes of the high mountains. After a lot of searching the cat finally finds the herb has withered and died so the cat goes back home only to find the bed empty. Thinking the worst, the cat goes crazy but it turns out the owner was behind the bed. The pharmacy / drug store chain is advertising that after 40 years Manning and Manning plus ( pharmacy name) is still here and will continue to be by your side.

  11. Nice…

  12. Francesca D. says:

    You know, thats exactly what I was thinking. The i thought about it more, and said, “wow. this COULD be a really adowabuhls story, like a children’ story, except for the fact that its about advertising a drug store and making money.” :-{ ) you are jealous of my MOOSE-tache.

  13. cellarmouse says:

    yeah…but, like din’t the cat pick upsome kitty treats since he was in the dugstore anyway?…not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  14. Guinea Peeg Lover says:


  15. You don’t have to go to the ends of the earth for a miracle cure, just your local drug store.

  16. I think it’s advertising a pharmacy. The cat sees the girl is really sick and looks up a special miracle herb and goes on a quest to get it only to find the plant dead. Then he sees the pharmacy has it and takes it to her and she recovers. The message is that a person doesn’t have to go to the ends of the earth for a medicine cause chances are their pharmacy has it.

  17. Yup, and the miracle herb is called “High Mountains” miracle herb, which is why the cat goes to look for it there.

  18. Ah, the Snow Lotus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saussurea), the mythical plant that cures everything.

  19. I don’t know what it means the part where the cat stops to lick itself cracked me up!

  20. I don’t know what the ad means, BUT the part where the cat stops to lick itself cracked me up!

    (which there was self-editing)

  21. WISH there was self-editing *ARGH and double ARGH!*
    It seems I can type perfectly well everywhere but here. Why is that?

  22. teh cute it is bad for brain??

  23. that’s what had me laughing, the kittykat licking itself!!! :P, glad I was not the only one who noticed that.

  24. My sister earlier today was petting our cat and said something that made absolutely no sense, so so she, naturally, blamed it on the cat’s cuteness. My other sister said something about a line graph with the x axis as, “ability to form sentences” and the y axis as “proximity to cat”. So that may be the problem!

  25. Ah yes, that would be this: http://xkcd.com/231/

  26. love!

  27. Funny, I didn’t even notice a typo. Don’t take it too hard on the CO site. Very few critics.

  28. And I loved that part too.

  29. Ffleur, you crack me up. I’ve arggghed many a typo; take comfort you are not alone.

  30. cellarmouse says:

    i never notice a mistake til someone apologizes for it (course i’m not mrs. crook my 9th grade english teacher)…

  31. Andi from NC says:

    The lick part took me out!!!! It seemed so random yet so necessary…..

  32. I agree that was hilarious – obviously written by cat lovers!

  33. JLAmusings says:

    Agreed! :-)

  34. I think this is what’s going on there:

    1. Kitteh’s owner is very ill and needs a good medicine.
    2. Kitteh goes on a journey to look for a special flower (herb) that’s supposed to cure any illness in the chinese mythology.
    3. Despite all the hardships, Kitteh fails…
    4. Kitteh miraculously finds a pharmacy where he is able to get the medicine.
    5. Kitteh goes home, but the owner is gone… IS SHE DEAD?!
    6. NO SHE IS ALIVE!!!! HAPPY ENDING!!!!!!! (sob*!!)

    It seems that it’s a commercial for a pharmacy chain in Hong Kong. They’re trying to say they have everything there already, don’t bother going somewhere else. Aww kitty…!!!

  35. Someone recently told me that when their cat is cleaning itself, they politely refer to it as her “playing the cello” – that part of this ad cracked me up!!

  36. That was adorable. The cat went on a fantasy quest for an herb to save his human. Very creative and sweet. :)

  37. Jenny Worth says:

    When I saw the tear leave his eye, I almost couldn’t watch further! And the banging his paws on the bed! AHHH! “I’m too late!”
    Oscar worthy.

  38. bob drummond says:

    Yeah Jenny , I agree ,this act is worth an Oscar Nomination at least !!! :)

  39. Mannings is kinda like the Duane Reade of China/Hong Kong.

  40. and what, pray tell, is Duane Reade?

  41. Duane Reade is the CVS of New York City. :D

  42. … and that CVS is located in JFK airport. So yeah, living in NYC is pretty much like living at airport full time.

  43. Laughed so hard when kitty sat down to groom himself on his quest. Laughed even harder to see it was a drugstore commercial. This would win a Clio here in the US. Bravo.

  44. Cat love/cruel indifference is universal.

  45. Translation, as you wish—–
    The girl is very sick and the cat thought, “What to do?”
    He read a book that says “High Mountain Snow Lotus”. It’s a very rare wild herb grew on top of snow mountain said in Chinese medicine to be miracle cure for every illness. So he was off to this difficult journey searching for the Snow Lotus. By the time he climbed to the mountain top, the lotus was wilted.
    Disappointed, he went home to buy medicine from the pharmacy. When he got home, the bed was empty, thinking she has died. But she actually got all better from taking medicine from the pharmacy. (The bag is by her bed)
    Narrator, “Actually, the one who cares about you has always been closed. Manning has been doing the best for 40 years. Wants you to be healthy and happy.”

    It’s such a lovely cat! Reminds me of Puss the Boots!

  46. I think the typos are funnier sometimes, Adora: “Actually, the one who cares about you has always been closed.”

  47. Maybe its supposed to be closer/close? Just a thought :D

  48. :D I agree with you, adora, about the lovely kitty :D

  49. warrior rabbit says:

    This quest seems more like something a dog would be more willing/eager to do. A cat might cuddle up closer to you while you’re sick, but travel the world to save you? I don’t think so.

    The cat pausing to lick itself totally cracked me up, though.

  50. The cat went to Egypt to find a tall mountain?
    Cat needs a GPS!!!

  51. Yikes! Kind of scary looking, don’t you think?

  52. I am freaked out by puppets so this kind of gave me the willies. :D

    But I looked at my two orange tabbehs and wondered how far they would go for me…would they travel too fr from their food bowls? :D

  53. He’s the ant-Oscar.

  54. I meant anti-Oscar.

  55. I am soooo moving to China just so I can see commercials like this.Oh you asians and your humor and 5 years ahead of USA technology.


  57. It most certainly is not. This commercial is in Cantonese, which is widely spoken in Hong Kong.

  58. bob drummond says:

    U R right jw012, this is most certainly not Japanese !!!!

  59. This is an advertisement from Hong Kong (in Cantonese) for the local chemist’s chain store. Oh, how I miss my home town <3

  60. Whoa…another HKer on CO? I thought I was the only one around.

    Yeah, Mannings always have some cute commercials.

    BTW, to the rest of the CO crowd – to a Hong Konger there is a distinct difference between calling something “from China” vs. “from Hong Kong” even though HK is now part of China. Yes, I was “from Hong Kong”. I won’t call myself “from China”.

    0:14 “what to do?”
    0:17 (on the encyclopaedia) “Saussurea Involucrata”
    0:24 “Saussurea” again
    0:30 “to be continued…”
    0:54 girl: “Kitty Cat?”
    0:56 voice over for the actual sales pitch “Mannings has been by your side for 40+ years” etc.

  61. victoreia says:

    Huh. Sounds almost like the European reaction to “I’m from the U.S.” vs. “I’m from Hawaii”. (When my aunts went to Portugal many years ago, they got the cold shoulder if they said “U.S.” but a warm reaction to “Hawaii”. Pretty much my cousins got the same reaction in England and Germany……)

  62. I’ve always been stubborn when it comes to Hong Kong. Someone ridiculed me for how my music was organised saying “Why do you have all these different names for Chinese music?

    Me: But I don’t. see, there’s Chinese music right there. I also have Taiwanese, Hong Kongese, (etc. with the other countries people just group with Mainland China).

    They get even more upset when they see all my ‘Tiny Countries that normal people clump together with Russia’ music XD For extra stubbornness, I have a genre (I use them to organise by country) for Tuvan music.

  63. @edmundh. Yes as a HKer myself I totally agree with your comments. Definitely a distinction between China and HK even though they HK is technically in China :-P. @Michelle I also miss Mannings! <3

  64. Apparently there are more of us on here than we thought!

    Completely agree with you about the “I’m from Hong Kong” part, especially now that I live in the US. Takes a little bit of explaining, but I’m always happy to talk about home.

  65. The only part of this that isn’t believable is the part where the cat cares whether some human lives or dies.

  66. Fird Birfle says:

    slightly cynical?? …

  67. Captain Capybara says:

    BULL – – – – ! Many animals do care about their human friends !

  68. (dons full fireproof bodysuit)

  69. awwww no, pooor you dave
    no put on bodysuit, put on rain coat
    coz i crying buckets
    you no have kitty that
    makes you know eet is
    more than beleevable….yesssss.

  70. Tony James says:

    The suggested explanations are fun, but alas, incorrect. The real backstory is this:
    Kitteh sees owner dying, and decides to abscond with her fortune before the husband can stop him. Goes on a fabulous round the world cruise, has a great time, comes home and weeps tears of joy to discover that the bed is now all his, and that there are no humans pushing him off or getting in the way of his sleeping. Just then the lady appears from behind the bed, and the cat leaps up on it to attack her.

    The Mannings thing? Oh yes – the narration actually says, “If your cat thinks you’re on your last legs, and steals your fortune, don’t worry – we have easy credit terms for your medications.”

    Sounds like citiKat is a Noo Yawker. Sharpy, Duane Reade is a chain of drugstores in the Big Kumquat, owned by Walgreens (although they keep that *very* quiet), generally dreadful service, shop assistants who think that they’re doing you a favour by ringing up your purchases, and crappy selection for the most part.

  71. Captain Capybara says:

    Dear Tony James , I think you need to see a psychiatrist and fast !
    And stop making fun of New Yorkers !

  72. Queen of Dork says:

    Oh, this is such a cool commercial! It’s really sad but then has a happy ending and is funny and cute throughout! But that one part during the quest…is that dog doo that Kitty steps in which makes him howl and then go cross-eyed?!

  73. Probably not dog doo, but definitely some kind of … poop.

  74. Fird Birfle says:

    **poop alert, skippymom!!!!**

  75. skippymom says:

    Not doing poop any more. Over it.

  76. BOB DRUMMOND says:

    that’s nice to know !!!

  77. DaChickenLady says:

    A girl is seriously ill. The cat wonders what it can do to help. He looks in some Chinese medical reference book and sees that a Miracle Herb (actually “Tall Mountain Snow Lotus” – a mythical ingredient that has appeared in many Chinese stories, movies, etc.) can help the girl. So, the cat goes on a journey to different parts of the world, braving a snow storm, the harsh dessert heat, etc., in search of the Miracle Herb. At 0:33, part 1 ends with the cat finding a trap and stepping in poop. (This, and the cat licking itself, is the ad using unexpected situations to add humor to the ad.)

    The cat climbs a mountain… only to find a Snow Lotus that is dead and useless. The cat is very disappointed. However, he finds a Mannings Pharmacy and brings a bag of medicine home. He finds an empty bed and cries because he thinks that means the girl died. The girl is actually alive (having already taken something from Mannings) and is reunited with the cat.

    Voiceover (in Cantonese): “He/she/it who treats you the best/kindest has been at your side all long. Mannings has performed in the best manner for 40 years so that you are healthy and happy.”

  78. Personally I think it is THE CAT’S FAULT she is so sick, which is why the cat goes on its quest. Near-fatal allergy attack maybe?

  79. Awww that is very sweet! :)

  80. I’d like to think my cats would do that for me – *sigh*. They did join me on the duvet last year when I had flu although I think it was because I was running a temperature and generating a lot of heat. Maybe cats from Hong Kong are more affectionate…

  81. HOORAY FOR CANTONESE! :D Though I’m pretty sure the music in the background aint cantonese but i could be wrong.

  82. you are correct. The music is in Mandarin.

  83. littlerainbird says:

    i actually 100% sure it’s not mandarin in the background, sounds more like korean or japanese though? can’t seem to figure it out.

  84. It sounds like Korean to me.

  85. BOB DRUMMOND says:

    wHO CARES WHAT KIND OF MUSIC IT IS ! It is a great commercial and very touching !!!

  86. The background song *IS* in Mandarin.

  87. Jamie, you are right – the song IS in Korean. It is because:
    1) Korean songs are hugely popular here in Hong Kong now
    2) the most popular Korean dramas are the soapy ones (sickness, death, tragedy), so it has the right kind of association with this ad

  88. Flutterby says:

    Sweet commercial; almost made me cry, but also made me laugh, giggle and gasp with delight and surprise!

    Am I the only one more than a little creeped out by the initial picture of the kitteh’s eyes?

  89. My cats would miss me if I died, but I doubt they’d travel all around the world to save me. I guess I’ll have to make due with the thought of them complaining loudly about my absence.

  90. Music in the background is in Mandarin, not Cantonese. Pretty popular to mix the two in music/media these days though, so no biggie.

  91. I think what the cat finds is not the withered herb but something else. It looks like a map, and it is in a trap like a bait. There is a smaller thing too that looks like a credit card, or maybe the pharmacy’s loyalty card. But why is the trap there?

  92. i’m so confused, but i cry anyways.

  93. cantonese not chinese. probably from hongkong not china

  94. Obviously, the story here is as old as Gilgamesh. The heroic cat is seeking the plant of immortality to save his little mistress’s life. He finds it only to see it blow away. Fortunately, however, orange tablets from the pharmacy will do just as well.

  95. Well, if you use Google, it tells you that Mannings Plus is a Health Care store. Mystery solved. KITTY DOESN’T WANT HIS FAVOURITE PERSON TO DIE.

  96. Embarassingly, this made me tear up.

  97. I am not the only Hongkonger in CO…..

  98. This had me melted…. but there’s something disturbing about the descriptions… Just like Tibetans don’t call themselves Chinese, we Hongkongers do not regard ourselves Chinese! There’s a distinct difference between Hong Kong and China, politically and culturally.


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