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The Cat in the Wat

temple cat

This is an actual Siamese cat, in Siam.

What this cat thought to gain by being up in the rafters, I don't know.

There are a great many street cats and dogs here; they are working animals. They are not so much feral, as living alongside humans, rather than with them. I don't see many pets. Children are, in fact, afraid of street dogs, and I've been recommended to bring a stick with me when out walking, to strike any strays. So far, however, I've had no need for that.

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Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

~What this cat thought to gain by being up in the rafters, I don't know.~

Cats like being in high places, to survey their domain. Watch for threats, watch for intruders, watch for food. And, take a cat nap in safety. Life as a street cat, especially with roaming dogs, requires caution and agility.

reslez's picture
Submitted by reslez on

If you notice one thing about the feral cats, it's how young they are. And thin. I'm not sure I ever saw an old one.

Strange how some details stick with you. I remember a bakery in Luxor old market and a chadored woman outside. She had a stack of subsidized bread (Egyptian eesh) and stopped to count them. Swift, practiced movements, fingers touching each loaf to make sure none were missing. I've never had to count slices of bread in my life. She walked swiftly away, just another errand. This was before the 2008 crisis, before the riots and Tahrir.

This year we have a genuine drought, even more fodder for speculators. I wonder what will flower 4 years from now?

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

reslez, I lost your train of thought in the above, as it relates to Thai cats. Not diminishing your comment, which has it's own hard truth.

Street cats are not necessarily feral cats.

Perhaps what I said wasn't complete enough, things I thought but didn't say. Lambert noted that cats in Thailand lived along side humans- not domesticated pets, but not feral either. This made sense to me because of my observations in Morocco, where I really got into observing the cats. Those with the best lives have familiar humans they depend on, particularly around the souk. And, these cats are the pride of their humans, though they are not in any sense "pets". That is what I was thinking about in Lambert's description of Thai cats, although I didn't explain that.

But, in Morocco, there were I'm sure feral cats, and same must be so for some/ many cats in Thailand.

My response about cat behavior applies both to feral cats and to the understandable behavior of cats who are not feral, but not pets either. The latter are often called "street cats".

Submitted by lambert on

I imagine they're territorial, too, though I'm not sure. It would be sensible for a cat, or several cats (I don't know how social they are) to adopt a restaurant, and beneficial for the restaurant, too.