Here, kitty.

If you all will indulge me a little longer, another photo post from Morocco. Today’s subject: Cats.

Feral cats are common in Morocco, and elsewhere; I recommend a charming documentary about the cats of Istanbul, called “Kedi.” (Kitty, get it?) It’s not exactly the same in the Moroccan cities we visited, but similar — cats are everywhere, entirely wild, not entirely pleasant to consider what their lives are like.

They’re skinny, dirty, some with mange or eye problems. No one pets them, although some soft-hearted souls might feed them from time to time. One rubbed on my shins at a shop, but most kept their distance. We saw more in Fez than in Marrakesh (I theorize most had been run over by scooters). The Essaouira cats proliferated by the dock and port, where they competed with the gulls for fish guts.

If you’re a cat lover, you’ll get lots of pictures. But don’t try to touch them; they’re not that kind of cat.

But like cats everywhere, they were excellent photo subjects:

They were silhouetted in every alley in the medina, it seemed:

I saw this one early, on the way back from the patisserie. He was breakfasting on a fish head:

Lots and lots of kittens:

They walk in and out of the businesses, most of which are open-air in some way or another. So you’d turn around and see something like this:

I really was hoping you’d order the shrimp, lady. We were sitting on the roof level of a cafe, and he was a little higher. He watched us for a while, then disappeared.

At our last place, in Essaouira, our host told us to close the door to the riad balcony at night, because otherwise they’d come into the apartment. He told a story about a woman who was staying there alone, and called in a panic her first night. “Someone’s trying to get in the door,” she whispered, frantically, and he ran over, only to find the front door locked. He let himself in and flew up the stairs, where she pointed to the balcony door: “No, there!” It was a cat.

Sure enough, that night, the balcony door rattled with something that sounded exactly like a paw, knocking, along with the usual plaintive meowing. No dice, kitty, but I fed fish leavings to a couple in the port the next day.

Maybe it was this one; this was in the alley outside our riad:

This place is so picturesque it’s ridic. I’m not even a very good photographer, either. It’s just hard to take a bad picture in Morocco.

And what happened on this side of the Atlantic? Just the president’s allies attacking a Purple Heart recipient because he speaks a second language. Just another day in the greatest and richest country on earth.

Here’s to Wednesday.

Posted at 8:41 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

48 responses to “Here, kitty.”

  1. alex said on October 29, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    That one could be a planter from Home Depot.

    Gorgeous pussy shots.

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  2. Ann said on October 29, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    Gorgeous photos. So glad the trip went well. Don’t feel that you have to stop with the stories or the photos.

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  3. Deborah said on October 29, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    Keep the photos coming.

    There were lots of ferel cats on the streets of Oporto, Portugal (some say Porto) when I was there. It was kind of creepy. I’m a cat person too.

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  4. Sherri said on October 30, 2019 at 12:51 am

    Of course Republicans attacked a Purple Heart recipient. These are the people who attacked Khizr Khan, mocked John Kerry, and questioned Max Cleland’s patriotism.

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  5. ROGirl said on October 30, 2019 at 5:32 am

    Speaking of kitties, my elderly (17 years old) cat has been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, which causes weight loss despite eating a lot. We tried her on a lotion that you rub on the inside of the ear, but it didn’t lower the hormone levels enough, and I didn’t want to keep on medicating her for the rest of her life (she did gain some weight). Another option was prescription food, it can’t be purchased without an approval from your vet, and it’s very expensive. You have to order a 24 can case, so I found the best pricing (works out to over $2 a can). It arrived 2 days after it was approved by the vet, but then you don’t know if the cat will eat it. I gave her some this morning, and so far she’s a big fan.

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  6. Connie said on October 30, 2019 at 8:10 am

    We had a call the other day from our longtime veteran friend to let us know he had been evacuated from his home in Sonoma County. Dan is retired from a job welding stainless steel tanks for wineries. He bought me my first ever Anchor Steam beer.

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  7. Julie Robinson said on October 30, 2019 at 8:53 am

    The kitties make me sad, because I am a complete tender heart. It always upset me when I saw my grandparents’ pack of ferals at the farm. Like most farm kitties, they never got any vet care, including getting fixed. They were just there to control the population of vermin. So, like ROGirl, I would buy the special food.

    We have quite a few family members in California, but so far they are all okay. What a horrible scary situation. In a fair world, the PG&E officials would have to give back all their bonuses over the last 20 years.

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  8. JodiP said on October 30, 2019 at 10:13 am

    There are feral cats in Puerto Rico, too. They are usually very shy. However, last January, one waltzed into the garden of the guesthouse, and after the cleaning woman caught her, took a 45″ nap on my wife’s lap. Short version: a month later, other Minnesota travellers brought her home, and we are living happily ever after. (The Humane Society works valiently to encourage people to spay/neuter, but it’s not a big part of the culture.)

    Nancy, you can keep pictures of the trip coming. I will likely not get to Morocco, so I love seeing it through your eyes.

    I am reading Susan Rice’s memoir. It’s a great look at the inner workings of foreign policy, and of course such a contrast to what we’re living through now. Guess that tan suit wasn’t such a big deal.

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  9. diane said on October 30, 2019 at 10:29 am

    Was it coincidence or did you know that yesterday was National Cat Day (at least according to many FB posts)?
    My cat, who is by the way the world’s coolest and most intrepid cat, is from a semi-feral pack in Culebra, Puerto Rico. She was brought back by a local here who has gotten our humane society to work with the one there. I worried that she would be too skittish or aloof given that the first 6 months of her life were in a feral pack but apparently scrounging for food from tourists at a resort taught her a lot about how to work humans and she is incredibly engaging. She is asleep on my lap as I type this.

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  10. Sherri said on October 30, 2019 at 10:35 am

    Speaking of cats, I have a story.

    A friend of mine has been going through hell the last year with a recurrence of breast cancer. Many rounds of chemo, radiation, finally down to Houston for a massive operation, weeks long fight with a post-operative infection, only to discover the cancer has metastasized to her lungs. She was sent back here to put her affairs in order and see what possible treatment options would buy her more time with her 2 year old grandson.

    So, the whole extended family was gathered in Disneyland last week. While there, she gets a call from animal control. One of her neighbors had decided that my friend wasn’t feeding her cat enough, and called animal control! Until just recently, my friend has run a daycare out of her house, lives life out loud, has tons of friends, her husband is a city council member, and her neighbor cant even knock on her door if she’s worried about the cat? (Who is absolutely fine and well-cared for, as is the dog, and the horse who is boarded elsewhere.)

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  11. JodiP said on October 30, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Sherri, WTH is wrong with people?! Also, I am so sorry that your friend is having such an awful experience with cancer.

    Diane, our Bieke girl is also very affectionate and loves to play. She is one of the most high energy, funniest cats we’ve ever had. Actually, make that the most. We think she needs a playmate, but for various reasons, we are waiting until March to go to the local Humane Society for a buddy.

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  12. Heather said on October 30, 2019 at 11:10 am

    Yes, very similar in Turkey. Cats everywhere. People feed them so they tend to not to be too skinny, but I did see a few in rough shape. I also saw the fattest cat I’ve ever seen in Istanbul, lounging on a cushion outside a shop. Obviously a cherished (and spoiled) companion. It is charming, although most of the cats seemed very small, which made me think maybe they were all young and don’t live long.

    Compare that to Rome, where I noticed a distinct reduction in the number of cats on the streets and in parks (hardly any) when I’ve visited recently, compared to 20 years ago. I visited a shelter in the historic center on my last trip, and they said they’d TNR’d thousands and thousands of cats over the last 10 years or so. It clearly made a big impact on the population.

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  13. Deborah said on October 30, 2019 at 11:17 am

    Another animal and cancer story: some friends in Abiquiu had a very cool house built down by the Chama river, they take in rescues and keep them until homes are found for them. I’ve linked here before to the Dwell magazine article that showcases their house, it has special areas where the dogs and cats are kept, very humane. They also had a chamber music series where they had about 50 people come for the concerts every other sunday afternoon during the summer they did it for 12 years. Unfortunately one of them is going through her third bout of metastatic breast cancer and they have had to discontinue the music series forever. We were devastated to learn of this a couple of weeks ago when we were in NM, we were season ticket holders and we also sponsored a performance each summer. They are a wonderful couple, they recently married after being together for decades. I was always amazed that during the performances you never heard a peep out of the animals, I don’t know how they managed it. Their own pets are beautiful well behaved animals, a couple of enormous cats and a loving dog.

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  14. connie said on October 30, 2019 at 11:22 am

    My SIL is a cat person. She worked many years as a vet tech and now owns a pet sitting/dog walking business. She volunteers at the Traverse City Humane Society, she spends a couple of hours a week working to socialize feral cats and make them adoptable. That is a good twenty miles from home for her!

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  15. Deborah said on October 30, 2019 at 11:30 am

    Here’s the link again to our friends’ house in Abiquiu The artilce kind of fades out so maybe there’s a paywall? But you can see a photo at the top of the outside of the place.

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  16. 4dbirds said on October 30, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Love the cat photos. My son and his wife took our cats when they moved out last year. Morocco looks lovely and I will probably never go so I too appreciate you sharing your trip. I can’t EVEN (as the kids say) with how low this administration is going. As a veteran I am deeply disgusted at how a war wounded military member was treated. It makes my distain of/for people like JTFP more intense.

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  17. Scout said on October 30, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    Kedi is a really interesting documentary. I thought I would be upset watching a doc about homeless kitties, but it was surprisingly heartwarming at how people take care of them while still letting them be wild.

    National Cat Day gave me the sads when I was shown my facebook memory post from last year when my sweet Mickie and Faerie were still with me. I am still not over their loss.

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  18. LAMary said on October 30, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    At least one, probably two, if my cats were feral. One is totally socialized now. The other enjoys her own company most of the time but occasionally decides she needs a cuddle or a brushing.

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  19. Dorothy said on October 30, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    When I got home from work yesterday I read on FaceBook that a friend from where I lived before Dayton was missing her cat, Waffles. Friend is having a kitchen reno and the cat slipped out the door when the workers arrived. She’d never been outside much before. Fortunately Waffles showed up around 11:30 last night, none the worse for the wear. Same friend adopted a cat with infected eyes six years ago. Said cat had to have the eyes removed and she (Scout – the cat) is doing just fine and dandy. I love when the friend shares pictures of Scout outside with her head inclined, listening to birds, bugs, whispering trees, etc.

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  20. basset said on October 30, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Connie, Mrs. B was a vet tech in Cadillac for several years… probably too long ago to have met your SIL, though.

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  21. beb said on October 30, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    We had to put one of our cats to sleep on Monday. Like ROgirl’s he was losing weight (from 20# to 10. We tried pills, went to the lotion but he continued to lose weight. He was such a lovable cat. Kind of looked like a Maine Coon breed.

    One of the cats Nancy photographed was a calico that looks so much like another of our cats.

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  22. Scout said on October 30, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    beb @21 – I am so sorry about the loss of your kitty. It’s hard.

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  23. David C. said on October 30, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    JodiP. I think people call animal control at the drop of a hat for the same reason people call the police when they see children playing perfectly well alone at a park. It’s TV news induced mass hysteria. It doesn’t help that sometimes the people who call in such things get their mugs on the TV or that they get huzzahs on Facebook for their retelling of the story.

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  24. Dorothy said on October 30, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Beb I’m so sorry to hear about your kitty. It’s just about the hardest thing we do as animal lovers when we make that decision.

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  25. Sherri said on October 30, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    Dahlia is angry.

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  26. Deborah said on October 30, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    We are at uncle J’s in northern IL and it’s snowing pretty steadily. 1 to 3 inches are predicted tonight and 1 to 3 inches predicted for tomorrow.

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  27. JodiP said on October 31, 2019 at 10:10 am

    Beb, I am so sorry to hear about your kitty. As Dorothy said, it really is the hardest thing about letting these animals into our lives.

    A couple months ago, I found out about the Kitten Lady, who rescues very young kittens found in the streets or brought to area shelters. I follow her on Instagram. It’s very uplifting.

    Also, last night I watched The Biggest Little Farm, a documentary about a couple who leave LA to begin a farm and do it biodynamically. Have tissues nearby, because farming is not always frolicking lambs and golden fields of grain. There are also tear-inducing, uplifting moments. I believe it’s available on Amazon. I love reading and watching stories about farming, as I grew up on one.

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  28. ROGirl said on October 31, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Sorry about your kitty, beb.

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  29. Scout said on October 31, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    So, this is big.

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  30. Suzanne said on October 31, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    Scout, it’s been rather humorous to watch the Republicans that have been in a froth about all the super secret hearings that the Dems are holding (not true, of course. Hearings were bi-partisan) are now in a bigger froth because the hearings will be held publicly.
    So, like a toddler, they are never happy.

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  31. alex said on October 31, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    Political theater, all for the benefit of the rubes, who wouldn’t know a contradiction if it fucked them in both eye sockets and made them lick the shit off of it.

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  32. beb said on October 31, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    If you haven’t read the article Sherri linked to @25 do so. It’s worth it.

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  33. diane said on October 31, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    Beb, so very sorry about your cat.

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  34. Deborah said on November 1, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    I had the message again this morning that the nn.c site was unavailable. When it happens its usually in the morning.

    Heading back to Chicago after being at Uncle J’s house for a few days. He continues to deteriorate as one does with Alzheimer’s.

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  35. Sherri said on November 1, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    Both sidering towards destruction

    “How the parties are supposed to compromise on the issue of whether the president should be allowed to commit serious crimes is not even addressed. After all, to acknowledge that one side is for crimes and the other side is against them might expose how ridiculous this “compromise vs. polarization” framework really is.“

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  36. Deborah said on November 1, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    Back in Chicago, hoping to stay within the low carb diet again. Harder to do there at his place where they have snacks and desserts up the wazoo at Uncle J’s. The deal there is to to get Uncle j to eat high fat foods and desserts to increase his weight, so they’re everywhere in front of me, so it’s harder for to me avoid. I want to be able to eat my way across France again later, so I will have to be very disciplined before that. I have still a few weeks to avoid capitulation to degradation.

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  37. basset said on November 2, 2019 at 9:31 am

    Went to an interesting concert last night, film of country singer Don Williams synced to a live band and orchestra. What great songs… first time Mrs B and I had seen the Nashville Symphony, been to the hall a couple times for other performances but it’s definitely outside our usual orbit.
    Looks like we’re not gonna be able to build the house we’d been planning in an adjacent county, can’t get net service to it.

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  38. Dorothy said on November 2, 2019 at 10:29 am

    We’re going to a concert tonight at the Ludlow Garage in Cincinnati. Having Moroccan food for dinner before the show! The concert is Hiroshima. I like jazz but their music sometimes bores me. Mike likes them a lot more than I do. Here’s hoping they aren’t boring tonight.

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  39. Deborah said on November 2, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Apparently Trump has anointed Paula White to be his faith person in the White House. I had to Google who she is, never heard of her before. And man oh man what a scam artist, in her third marriage, a proponent of so called “prosperity gospel”. Why are Americans so gullible? It makes me sick to read about all of that. Maybe Nancy can work her magic on outing her for plagiarism or something like she did with that guy who worked in W’s White House in a similar role.

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  40. David C. said on November 2, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Somehow, I don’t think an administration that sees no problem with extortion, bribery, concentration camps, adultery, constant lying,… will care a rat’s ass about plagiarism.

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  41. Sherri said on November 2, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Paula White is a charlatan, to be sure, but she was involved with trump’s campaign, so it’s not like she’s new to his orbit. As I believe Amy Sullivan pointed out on Twitter, here is the key news, from the WaPo article:

    “Past presidents, including Barack Obama and George W. Bush, set up formal councils on faith-based and community partnerships, but Trump has not made that same faith-based council structure a key priority in his administration.
    Instead, his evangelical advisory board is an informal gathering of religious leaders who supported the president during his campaign and continue to receive invitations to the White House regularly. After providing their support early on, the group has been rewarded with invitations to dinners and consultations.”

    With trump, everything is transactional and everything is about him, not policy. Paula White is being brought into a more formal role because trump needs to make sure his evangelical base holds solid. You can question whether she accomplishes that, but he prefers to stick with loyalists, and she’s been around for a long time.

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  42. LAMary said on November 2, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Is cosmetic surgery a requirement for any woman working with Trump? Ms. White looks like she’s had work done. Stephanie Grisham, his new public bullshit purveyor and all the women in his clan (maybe not Tiffany, yet) are customized.

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  43. Suzanne said on November 3, 2019 at 8:19 am

    In the next episode of what real voters do: my elderly mother told me recently that she thought Tom Henry in Ft Wayne has done a good job. Then yesterday she told me that she & my dad (who rarely even knows what day it is or where he what he did an hour before) both voted for the Republican mayoral candidate who is a nut. “Well, we just always vote Republican.”

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  44. alex said on November 3, 2019 at 10:55 am

    Suzanne, I think Smith was counting on the Trump train to deliver him the mayor’s office, and then realized it would be better to downplay his extremism, instead relying simply on the Trump tactic of making boldly false assertions and character attacks and hoping to at least make some of his turds stick to the walls. My sense is that only the deeply partisan find him appealing. When establishment Republicans are cutting ads praising the Dem candidate, it means you’re a loser.

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  45. Deborah said on November 3, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    We saw the Almodovar movie tonight, Pain and Glory. We both liked it very much, but then we like Almodovar.

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  46. Connie said on November 4, 2019 at 10:02 am

    Penske buys Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indycar. So BRIAN AND OTHERS INTO RACING, IS THIS A GOOD THING. Was it expected?

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  47. Connie said on November 4, 2019 at 10:03 am

    Penske buys Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indycar. So Brian and others into racing. Is this a good thing? Was it expected?

    Sorry for the double post, I swear I was editing.

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  48. Brian stouder said on November 4, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Connie – that news was a complete, total, stunningly amazing surprise, at least to me! Roger is no young’n, so this looks like a (massive!) overture, and not a conclusion. But in any case, I think it is massively good news for IMS and for American open-wheel racing

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