Sunday, December 21, 2008

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.

1 comment:

cara said...

Those ears are amazing.