Thursday, July 3, 2014

Gatos de la calle

Yes, this post is about cats!
Street dogs have been featured prominently in many of my posts because they are everywhere, and for someone from the US it is unusual to see dogs roaming the streets like this. But I'm actually more of a cat lover: I have three cats at home (as well as a dog). Street cats are a bit more hidden, due to their nature. Those that are truly feral do not seek human companionship as dogs do. But we have seen quite a few cats-and the many were approachable. Joel's favorite was one he dubbed "Isis Light." We have a noisy, tortie at home, who loves Joel and flops over when he pets her. Isis Light is both light in color, and a bit more muted, vocally then our Isis at home. But she would rush up the street when we called her (she lives on Cerro Castillo, and is clearly some one's pet), and she loved Joel.

Just checking, to see if you were paying attention. No cat here, just this dog, photo bombing Joel.
A little, pregnant kitty, hanging out near a fish stand at the feria.
Two I regularly saw right across the street from campus:

Remember my post about Los Dominicos in Santiago? When you visit, you'll see LOTS of cats. I think the sheltered nature of the walled artists' village is a safe one for cats. And they are fat, too, so they must be well taken care of.
A stand-offish cat:
Unsa, the friendly cat in La Serena, who lived at the B & B where we stayed. And much to both Joel and my delight, she liked sitting on laps.
On one of our trips to Valpo, we spotted this little girl in the Metro station. We'd seen some cat food and water out for her when we arrived. When we were headed back home we saw her in action. She was skittish, and clearly on a mission to catch a pigeon:

After the pigeon flew off, she sat in front of a parked train and screamed. Literally. That cat was small, but had a huge voice. A custodian across the tracks who was sweeping started talking to her, and eventually she calmed down. I think he was the person who fed her.
This friendly cat encouraged me pet her when I was going down some stairs in Valpo. I obliged her, and she followed me down more stairs-but she got sidetracked when she found some one's take-out box from a restaurant, with some food in it. First rule: eat when you can!
And finally, this is Señor Gato, who lives rough on the grounds of a school, two blocks from me. He's very friendly, and I started feeding him when I noticed he wasn't getting food on the weekends. This is the cat I wished I could take home.


  1. Lovely cats! I'm sure you could figure out a way to take Sr. Gato back to Peoria!

    1. No, not really-all the logistics in just the few days I have left wouldn't work. You also have to think about how horrible it would be for this guy: He's out there, living his life, when he is whisked away by a stranger, doctored, put in a box in a noisy plane for hours on end, then another plane, in the heat of the Dallas airport...The best thing to do is for ALL the people reading to adopt a stray animal.