Sunday, December 21, 2008

Big Cats, Kenya 2002

Masai Mara:How do you find lions? Look for the cars. These two were getting frisky.
Lionesses with cubs in tow.

Lions by the river.
Leopard waiting near one of the upmarket lodges for the nightly feed. All a bit fake. Its still a wild animal but hanging around the lodge waiting to be fed isn't exactly wild behaviour.

Lamu 2005

The beautiful island of Lamu lies off the north coast of Kenya. The first thing any cat lover will notice is that there are cats everywhere. Dozens and dozens of them. Most are feral. The cats are tolerated by the Muslim population, though not always by the tourists. They have lived in their colonies on the remote island for so long that they are thought to be genetically related to the cats of ancient Egypt.

The towns and ruins of Lamu were thriving trading centres more than a thousand years ago. Archaeological digs show that these people kept catst and traded with ports in the Red Sea from the very beginning. In Lamu the cats have been genetically isolated by their island environment. Their unique shape - long legs, slim body, whip tail, short hair, long neck and small head - presents a conformation identical to the sacred cats of Egypt. (from The Cats of Lamu, Jack Couffer)

Being predominately feral, the cats are extremely opportunistic, taking food and rest wherever they can.

This one tried to share my lunch.

This well cared for and quite tame individual was the only one I met that was "owned" and looked after.

Sharing the Donkey Sanctuary.

Many of the cats have clipped ears as a result of a spaying campaign carried out by the Lamu Animal Welfare Clinic.

A good place to relax and maybe he'll drop something.

Living in hope at the butchers.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sicily 2005

This stunner was performing a balancing act in Taormina.
Also in Taormina, this friendly little black kitty stood guard over my pack while I took photos in the main square.

The Alhambra, Granada, 2005

The beautiful Alhambra in Granada has a colony of cats, all of which are obviously related.

Some frequent the interior of the palace.

However the most photogenic were just outside the Alcazaba, the fortress of the Alhambra.

Several joined me for breakfast.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Peru 2004

Aguas Calientes, the jumping off point for Machu Picchu
This tiny kitten was in the place where we took refuge during a massive storm while waiting to get the boat to Manu in the Amazon. It took a particular liking to one of my travelling companions.

Another Amazon kitten, this one at Yine Lodge near Boca Manu.

Bolivia 2004

Pretty hat shop kitty in the back streets of Sorata.

Hostal cat, Sorata. The dark thing on the wall in the distance is a snake skin.

The receptionist, La Cupula, Copacabana.

Even the very basic camp in the pampas out of Rurrenebarque had its resident scavengers.

Chile 2004

Easter Island kitten.

Hostal resident, La Serena

Roadside stallholder en route to Valle de Elqui.

Pintados, population 1 plus cat.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Zanzibar 2002

You see stray cats everywhere along the coast of east Africa and its islands. These were spotted on Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania.

Alley cats, Stonetown

Port cats, Stonetown

Contented cat in Stonetown's fish market.

Backstreet cats.

This one was taking a rest at the turtle sanctuary near the village of Nungwi in the north of the island.
Back to Stonetown and this little cutie was helping out a stallholder at the market.