I had not realised just how far and how deep this particular misconception had penetrated the world. Here goes the conversation, which happened while idling, waiting to pick up a friend, facing a dumpster around which about 18 cats were milling.
Him: Chinese people, they like cats. Eat.
Me: Noooo! (Nervous laughter)
Him: No Chinese people here.
Me: No, not many in Abu Dhabi.
Him: (Gesturing at dumpster, giggling as he delivers his punchline) If Chinese people here, all cats gone.