habebatii (my little love)

I adopted a cat today. There’s enough room in my house and I want something that reminds me of you.

His name is Tilj which means “snow” or “ice” in Darija which is fitting since he’s mean. But he doesn’t have a choice really if he wants to make it here. And anyhow, sometimes the hard ones are the best of them.

He’s about three weeks old and hasn’t been touched much so he’s scared and can scratch quite well. But I love the way that just because these cats have the ability to make it on the street doesn’t mean a loss of grace.

The street cats look so royal here even as they are fighting over your chicken or meat in the Medina. I watched as two cats jumped on the table next to me and grabbed a metal stick filled with steak and dragged it quite quickly and gracefully onto the roof. I was certain the man would beat them for it when he returned, especially since they jumped up and grabbed another, taking the steak and the metal stick with them to the Kasbah. When the cook returned and realized two of the five meat sticks were missing he didn’t seem that angry about the loss of profit. He wasn’t about to let them take his food but than again he wasn’t that hard about the fact that he was made to share with the cats.

That’s kind of how it goes here. I don’t see a lot of cruelty towards animals because there seems to be a large ability to share with them…but there is an expectation that each get by on their own accord as best they can. Some do well and others don’t.

But all of the street cats look so beautiful as they seem to have been picked straight out of time from the Egyptian hieroglyphics. They have big up-turned Egyptian cat eyes so unlike the round cats in the States. And I can’t help but see little ancient gods walking around the Medina, high as a queen, walking on stilettos, stealing food and being royal.

I want to bring two cats back home and I may pick my second cat up off the street.

I’ll work on the documents but in the meantime I’m sending my little one to the (alcoholic and eccentric) ex-pat from America who has a big heart for Moroccan animals and does all his vet work for free. He owns a small shelter and has about ten cats and ten dogs of his own. He doesn’t have vaccinations so I may have to send for some from the States.

It might take a few days for him to let me touch him but I can wait. He’s hiding and very hungry.



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