Yes, yes, yes – I know, I know. In mere months of the creation of the blog I am writing my first entry. Well, for all of you who have been patiently awaiting the “Sean” half of Kim and Sean’s blog, here it is.
Calico, Tabby, Siamese, Abyssinian, Persian, Ragamuffin, ragdoll, shorthair, longhair, wirehair (yes, that’s a cat breed), Bombay, Birman, Egyptian Mau, and my favorite because it seems so cheesy, the “Singapura” from Singapore.
Kuwait has cats! – and not just indoors. These cats are running around uninhibited by any natural predator (other than cars), and multiplying in the thousands. Yes, I know every major city in the states has cats running around, but this is different. I have never seen the amount of cats that live on the streets here. You cannot walk just one block without coming across a gang of cats (Yes, they travel in gangs, picture a cluster of five cats with nunchucks.)
At first I was in disbelief that a cat could survive out here. There is no other animal that I have encountered living here in the desert (except for cockroaches). And yet, there are thousands! How do they do it? It’s over 100 degrees here every day. Forecast for this week Wednesday: 109° Thursday: 113° Friday: 111°. Cats are impressive…
Then I found out about the water – oh the water. Kuwait, albeit surrounded by desert and a saltwater gulf, has a lot of fresh water. Understand, there is no fresh water to be found here naturally. All of the water that people drink has been taken from the Persian Gulf, treated through a process called “desalination”, and made clean and salt-free for us to drink. The whole process is extremely expensive, but when you’re living in the desert, what can you do? There is no natural vegetation in Kuwait. All the plants, trees, grass you see in our pictures are all the result of heavy irrigation from desalinated water. And with that heavy irrigation comes…street cats!
Again, thousands of them. I am so entertained by the mobs of cats running around Kuwait. Some people take them in as pets (mainly westerners) but usually they just stay on the street unless they get run over by a car, which is likely considering the way people drive here. I actually had a cat walk into my classroom today, he wanted some of my cold COLD air conditioning. (Which is another story entirely.)
Kuwaitis do not like pets. They think animals consort with or are actually djinn. “Djinn” or “Jinn” is where the term Genie comes from – think devilish spirit, not Aladdin. Dogs are—absolutely—NOT pets. Islam gave dogs a bad rap and as a result they are seen as very unclean and lowly creatures. Our (western) neighbor has a dog and when she goes out people give her disapproving looks as if she has a rat on her leash instead of a fuzzy canine. Don’t get me wrong, Islam is very good to animals. The Quran tells people to treat animals with kindness.
If you want to see more pictures of those Kuwaiti street cats, there’s a flickr Group Pool dedicated to Kuwaiti Cats here.
With the exception of the lolcats picture, every cat-camera-capture you see here was taken within the course of four days on the streets of Kuwait.
They just seem to be “all-seeing-all-knowing,” don’t they?
My favorite place to photograph cats; outside our living room window. Note the dumpster is empty in this picture…
And full in this one. With two—entirely different—cats scouting for goods!