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.