September 19th 2015
Today we saw this pack of cats (and I am immediately reminded that I don’t know the collective noun for a group of cats, but I’m going with ‘pack’ because it almost rhymes.
Walking towards the ocean on our final night in Split, we took a few new turns just to see more of the town, and just to see if we can find any where nice to eat dinner than didn’t charge a 25% sea view surcharge. (Not actually a thing, although it seems like it is)
Upon making a random turn we found this island. And it was an island of cats.
Upon the island and (which was a circular raised wall with a patch of grass and one lone tree) sat 10-15 stray cats.
And I was reminded of a few things.
Firstly, how much I love my crazy cat lady of a girlfriend who turns into a cat herself whenever she sees a whispered companion. She starts meowing and meeping and purring and braying and tries anything to get their attention. And it’s adorable.
During our trip around mainland Europe we have discovered an odd phenomena. Bin-picking. Basically, people, often homeless, sometimes not, search through bins for empty, used, and discarded bottles. Plastic, glass, the lot. And that’s because Europe (the bit that isn’t British) is big on recycling. So big, in fact, that in most supermarkets there are machines into which you can recycle bottles and the machine awards/rewards you with store credit per bottle recycled.
We did it once in Munich. 50 cents for a big plastic bottle and 80 cents for a glass one.
This scheme results in the bin picking. People search bins for bottles, put them in a bag, and then later recycle them for supermarket vouchers.
There was this guy who was clearly a bin-picker, because he has bags full of empty bottles that he’d been carrying around with him. I mean, it’s possible that they were bags of bottles that he’d brought from home, but I don’t think so.
Anyway, as well as the bags of bottles he’s got this bag full of cat food. Firstly he’s got up on the island and poured some milk/water into little containers for the cats to drink.
And then, one by one, he spoon feeds the cats with cat food he’s clearly bought specially for this.
And that’s what’s great. This guy has spent his day picking bottles out of bins to get the money to buy cat food to feed stray cats.
And to me that’s wonderful. And I know that a bottle of milk is like, what, 60p over here in Croatia, and cat food is maybe a few pound, but that’s not it. That’s not what it’s about.
He’s clearly a man with little financial luck, because honestly why else would he search through litter for such little reward? But then he spends the money on food for stray cats. Because if he doesn’t, who will?
And another great thing is that he’d named them. He called them one by one to come get there food “Alby. Alby. Come here.” He said, to the little white one whom I assume is named thusly due to it’s albino appearance.
And I just think that’s great, and I was reminded of the goodness of humans.
And I laughed when my crazy cat lady of a girlfriend said “that’ll be me in a few years, I’ve found my calling in life. I can breed them and have a bunch of little kittens.”
And that’s ironic, because I’ve just thought of what you might call a group of newborn kittens.
Until tomorrow, picking through the litter to feed a litter of kittens.