Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cats and Dogs, Living Together - Kinda.

So, in Buenos Aires there are a lot of dogs. I mean, a LOT. Here is an average - well maybe a bit more than averagely heroic - dog walker.

The thing that is weird about BA is that there are both incredibly highly pedigreed and well-cared for dogs, and a few semi-starved strays.

And then there are these other dogs. The Tramps.

These dogs look to be in good shape. Sometimes they have little makeshift collars. But they are always alone, and totally in charge of themselves. Many of these dogs are rottweiller-colored, but smaller, and more terrier-shaped. I watched one of these dogs consider crossing a VERY high-traffic street, then choose to walk the other way, with the traffic. He was walking in the road, along the curb. When a taxi honked at him, he without pause or nervousness just smoothly moved back onto the sidewalk. It was amazing.

But it was making me think. I was walking through the streets of BA, thusly:

And I hadn't seen any cats at all. Until I came to this one fenced in park. I saw it from a block away. Cats EVERYWHERE. On every park bench, under every tree. I came close to take a picture... and the MOBBED me.

It was like the fucking Birds. They were rubbing against my legs, meowing. But they looked good. Well-fed. Well-groomed, even. Kind of adorable.

A policeman thought it most amusing I was taking pictures of them. "Quiere comida," he said. Well, yeah. Perhaps I'll go back and be crazy cat lady for them one of these days.

Except they sort of scare me a little:


Blogger t-roy said...

Ah yes, the Argentine Cat Mafia... I suggest catnip bribes.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Julie Powell said...

Oh, fuck yes. Now THAT would be a picture. I in fact must do that.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Facundo said...

Dear J.
I like the way you portray Arg. dogs and cats. May I use some of your ideas for my kids book I'm writing? I'm from Buenos Aires, by the way. Hope u like the city. Be carefull when exchanging money. Cashier are giving fake 50 and 100 peso bills. And try to see other areas such as Caballito, Flores, liniers, Ramos Mejía.. etc. They also have cool coffee shops and places to eat good food. Have u tried empanadas, yet??? And what about Lomitos? Well, have a good stay in the city and thank u for coming.
Best regards,

12:29 PM  
Blogger Julie Powell said...

Thanks for the tips, Facundo.... You are more than welcome to incorporate into your children's book any of my passing thoughts on the animals of Argentina - and I'm sure there will be many in the days to come. For instance: there is an orange cat on the corner of Guatemala and Fitz Roy who I watched last night for three hours accosting all passersby, following them meowing, jumping up against their legs, begging most charmingly.

Thanks for all your other tips as well. I've been eating insane numbers of empanadas, but have yet to try lomitos. Will do so at the next opportunity. Thanks!

8:59 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I just finished reading the book yesterday and this part about the dogs crossing at the crosswalks, etc, made me laugh out loud. I just got lucky in your archives to find these photos. Priceless.

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Remember that cats and dogs like different things, cats often prefer to be able to get up high and look down on their world. This also allows them to have some 'me-time' away from other pets when needed. Dogs spend more time investigating their environment, so providing them with interactive toys will help keep them occupied and less interested in what the cat is up to. This info I've used in my Research Report

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