Author Topic: Moroccan Adventures With Cats!  (Read 28596 times)

Offline Think Cat Ems

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Moroccan Adventures With Cats!
« on: April 12, 2014, 06:50:17 PM »
Sorry readers and ThinkCats Forum regulars for my absence of late! The past two weeks have been filled with cats, dogs, and various other critters. I was invited to stay at my Great Aunt’s place in Morocco, and jumped at the chance to catch some rays, eat tagine, and feed at least 16 street cats (see image!) one very spoilt house cat and a German Shepherd.

Upon arriving in the sleepy surfer village my trip took a veterinary turn: a neighbour of my aunt had found a donkey in much distress, his leg broken and by the side of the road. My aunt’s animal loving partner, Marion, offered the yard as a place of respite for the poor thing, which was in a lot of pain, while they awaited the arrival of the vet. The plan upon his recovery was to name him Joseph and send him to live on an organic farm with his namesake, Josephine, a donkey whom local restaurateurs had saved years previously.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, and despite the efforts of everybody with the few resources they had in freak weather for North Africa (40 mm of rain!) Joseph died in the night. Although it was heart-breaking to experience, my residing memory of that event is the efforts to which people will go to look after and care for animals, especially animals which aren’t their pets.

A Clowder of Cats
Sadly Joseph didn’t get to enjoy his organic farm life, but I didn’t need to look far to see the success stories of animals who had been lucky enough to venture into the surrounding area, filled with caring animal lovers such as Marion. Did I mention the street cats?! Every evening the mewling clowder would be fed from the vast amount of pet food Marion provided, divided between tagine bases (so very Moroccan!) and the bowl of the adorable, loyal, and utterly gorgeous Slim the German shepherd.

Varying in shape, size and temperament, these cats would hardly let you put the food down before racing to a bowl to compete over the food. Some cats were obviously not used to trusting humans (despite the constant food…cats, eh?) and hissed when approached. Others where friendly and sweet and appeared to want cuddles and strokes more than they wanted food, which proved to my die-hard dog loving partner that cats were not solely focused on cunning ways to find grub.

Getting to Know You: Snowy’s Behaviour

It was Snowy, the earless man of the house, who won our hearts out of the cat bunch. Every morning without fail he would mewl and rouse us to feed him, then proceed to trick our travel buddies with plaintive hungry wails that he needed feeding for a second time. They fell for it, of course, as Snowy’s well- fed posterior proved! Described by Marion as “nearly tame...almost not feral” it took us a while to get used to his cues – for example, his often thrashing tail we took as a clear sign of his annoyance, but mistook his energetic swiping for pure hatred until numerous play sessions proved he was a sweetheart who retracts his claws and nips ever so gently when he knows it’s play time. Used to stroking cats around their ears and heads, this proved difficult with Snowy who has had his ears removed after cancer (a problem common among white cats apparently). After getting to know him, it was easy to realise why he would be wary of people reaching down to pet him there, as his cute ear stumps were vulnerable to all sorts of intruders!

The holiday was much needed after two difficult terms, and I must say that the presence of lovely, calming animals and with Lord Snowy and Slim protecting us was the best animal addition to a vacation I’ve ever had. Why don’t all hotels have cats wandering their terraces?? Can’t all-inclusive start to mean “comes with pets as well as lots of food and booze”?

We’ve seen cat cafes and the success they bring – next stop, cat hotels. Watch this space.

Offline Think Cats

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Re: Moroccan Adventures With Cats!
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2014, 09:48:27 AM »
Hi Em!

Thanks for sharing this, seems like you had a great time and much needed rest from the rigors of term!

Sad news about the donkey :( but at least he had some care and kindness in his final hours of need.

I've had 6 cat owners


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