I’d like to start off this post with another example of food cats (not to be mistaken with cat foods). This one was sent in by Roger, dear friend of Baby Cat, if you’ll recall. He writes with solemnity that “this was saved on Cece’s computer for forever”.
So thank you to Roger and Cece for bringing this additional bread cat to our attention.
I have noted Dunedin’s preponderance of cats. This statistic was made known to me very early in my arrival, when I was still sleep-logged and yearning for the warmth of the Crack Loft (I would have never suspected this would happen). There are cats everywhere here, even on the walls.
These kitties just sort of hang out….I don’t think I’ve seen so many in an outdoor urban setting that are sincerely not strays. These cats beebop around with bells around their necks and their cute little feet and their silky whiskers and meow at you as you pass, or lock eyes with you indifferently. Some are coyer than others, it is true (like the elusive Shy Cat, yet to be captured on film though I think he pretty much lives in our yard– if you look at him for more than a moment, he scurries away to locations unknown).
However, I am happy to say that one of my first cat experiences in this hemisphere was with this charming animal– Gutter Cat.
[Sighting: Maori Hill, Dunedin, NZ]
One day it was cloudy, and Jake and I decided to go for a hike. However, there was a great deal of pre-hike to this particular foray, because we were new, and sort of disoriented. (This resulted in the pre-hike lasting approximately three hours, and the hike itself ending prematurely because I got sick.) So, after many minutes of winding around through the more exclusive parts of the hilly suburb we are currently situated upon, we stumbled across this creature. (I hope he belongs to the most priveleged family on that block who can give him anything he wants always even if it’s sparkly nailpolish or his own airplane.)
Gutter Cat was tricky to photograph, because he was one of these exceptionally friendly kitties one encounters on the street sometimes– profoundly move-y. He just darted back and forth, nuzzling our legs and hands and feet, getting so close to the camera that he nuzzled that too, rendering the bulk of my photographs to be in super-macro-vision. He was GREAT. “Gutter Cat!” I exclaimed.
Gutter Cat, as amiable as they come, loved us up for several glorious minutes until eventually we decided it was time to go. “Goodbye, Gutter Cat!” we chirped happily (admittedly, one of us, more enthusiastic than the other) and he followed us for a few minutes, looking longingly in our direction before turning heel and flopping back into his street-side.
I can’t tell you how many kitties I’ve left this way, feeling that familiar sting of regret for not scooping them up as Partystina wanted to do to Miroslav and affectionately making them my own and writing poems about them and cooking their dinners and reading them the comics page. Yesterday I saw a card that read, “Who needs kids? We have all these stray cats we found.” Jake was not amused.
“The house will smell like pee.”