23 January, 2013

Cats of Cairo

There are good and bad sides to littering and garbage. A good effect is that cats are well fed on both trash delicacies and rodents. Cairo has an abundance of both and the cats generally look healthy and fine.
    Unfortunately, there are some mistreated and sick ones, but people in general do not seem to bother the stray cats. And for the unfortunate ones there might also be a rescue. More about that later.

Ruler of cats.
A good catch!
    Egypt is a great place to be a cat for more than dietary reasons. I am sure they are all aware of the Great Sphinx is set to guard the biggest of their monuments. Such a task only a cat could fill, they would say. The cats, I mean.
    They will walk proudly around the touristic area and maybe halt for a pose next to a gracious cat statue in onyx or bronze, showing off with a twist on the tail.

Surely, I am a cat man. Not a dog man. Cats make you proud, they make you silly, they make you hopeful and they break your heart. Dogs are just waiting to be fed. Studying a cat is endlessly more interesting than studying a dog.
suvenircat
    Dogs are just dogs, but cats are individuals. They choose their own friends and allies and look elsewhere if they do not profit sufficiently from the relationship. You can never take a cat for granted in any other way than knowing it will act according to its own egoistic needs and preferences.

fishawycat
Get my point? Cats are cool. And Cairo cats are special among cats. They are more willing to pose than European cats, who turn their head away exactly a the split second your finger has pushed the button beyond the focusing point, but before the shutter has opened, preserving the image on the chip.
    Cairos cats are right out photogenic. Inspired by the Great Sphinx, they keep their pose gracefully, to be sure their beauty is captured, before they scornfully turn and walk away, signaling that they do not really need you for more than that.
One of three ... my favorite!

I've got my favorite cats in Cairo. Three of them, actually, they are siblings. All painted in golden freckled stripes and dots, teasing their patient mother and playing around the chairs and tables of my favorite cafe in Khan-Il-Khalili. No, not Fishawy, I have changed my mind a bit about that place.
    You ought to continue through the next shisha-place and turn right towards the Hussein Mosque. Thats were you will find the local family inviting to a chat or a chant, and the friendliest waiters. You can even sit upstairs if you are in the romantic mode or want to observe the hustle from a distance.

... always loved ...
... and graceful.
But this is about cats, and cats speak for themselves, so just lean back and enjoy the photos. Do click on the first one and flip through the gallery. You might see Cairo in a new way through its cats. And I will get back to this in a later blogpost. You see, I have been to a cat-place. You've never seen a place like it. Just wait. I will show you... but first: more cats:



Do you like them? Next time you see a cat, try to learn something!



miauuuuuw!