Dubrovnik’s oldest citizens – the cats

Most people who know me whether closely, or not so closely, will know. I am a “cat lady”. While this must sound a little derogatory and, to be quite frank, I can’t deal with battles between cat vs dog lovers. I also love dogs. But I use the term “cat lady” to say that I love cats and quite identify myself with them. This doesn’t mean I’m a scheming human being, waiting to control humans and conquer the world (cats do have very unfair connotations) but because like them I am independent, I like to keep to myself, and of yeah, I will show you claws if you try to do anything I dislike – such as touch me without my permission. I can quite literally hiss at you.

Cats happen to be considered Dubrovnik’s oldest citizens. The cats we see within the City Walls are numerous and direct descendants of the felines brought in the 13th century to help to fight the plague. Cats would hunt the rats, responsible for carrying the disease (I wish cats were able to fight Covid as well…). The same way Dubvroniks population take care of their pigeons nowadays (see article here), they also really take care of these street cats – while they may look sweet, it best to leave them alone. They are wild and way and, if feeling threatened, they may attack you and you may have to go to the hospital for a rabies shot. Still, it was heartwarming to see how Dubrovnik’s locals take care of these cats. Throughout town, you’ll find bowls with food and water and I’ve been witness to locals cuddling the cats who already know them so well.

What also surprised me is that cats and pigeons live together in such peace. At the sight of any bird, my cat becomes a hunter. Yet, diplomacy has been the language of choice in Dubrovnik for many centuries now!

As per usual, I can’t stop myself from photographing cats. So please enjoy the selection of my favourite shots of Dubrovnik’s cats.

Hope you enjoyed this different view of Dubrovnik. If you’re allergic to cats, I do advise you to take some meds to alleviate any symptoms, and these creatures are unavoidable!

Love, Nic

10 thoughts on “Dubrovnik’s oldest citizens – the cats

  1. One of the places where I’ve seen a large number of cats, from plump and content to mangy and malnourished, was Marrakech when we explored Morocco’s Red City, stray cats were all around the city. We learned that neutering animals are not a high priority in Morocco 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, I was lucky enough to have gone on a trip through North Morocco in 2019 and I do have a folder of moroccan cats photos somewhere on my drive… need to have a look at that again 🙂 But I also saw on my first day in Casablanca a cat dying with some sort of epileptic attack. It was quite bizarre, and I was a bit shaken for the rest of the day by that episode…


  2. I love animals … way less complicated than humans 😉.
    Some animals may be the result of me getting hay fever, but that doesn’t stop me from stroking them (if it’s possible). I remember a few cats that sneaked into our albergues in Portugal and I just did not had the heart to chase them out (so, I’ve opted for an allergy tablet and shared our room with them 🤧).
    Love your photo’s!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you! There are so many stray animals in Portugal as well, but I always feel more sorry for the dogs, who are clearly looking for a loyal friend and always look so helpless on their own. It always breaks my heart!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Istanbul has a similarly abundant feline population. The cats are also well cared for and much loved, with locals taking care of everything from food to vet visits. We also saw food and water left for pigeons throughout the city.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find that fascinating. In Portugal I’ve been “used” to see stray cats and dogs being abandoned and mistreated in the streets, so it always impresses me when a town takes care of their strays, a community made of humans and animals 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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