photography / travel

Malta’s most adorable feral cat problem

little tan and white kitten staring up into the camera.

plz sir, may I have s’more? Birżebbuġa.

*Note to reader: Before you say anything, yes…. this is a post to legitimize the stupid number of cat pictures currently taking bites out of my memory card. The full gallery of feline photography is below.

I hesitate to call this a “problem.”

Because, I mean, look at those eyes.

O but it is a problem! I think! Herds of them colonizing parks! At the very least it is a problem from the point of view of the squirrel populace (I’ve seen the terror one cat can reek on a suburban backyard). And sometimes the local authorities think it’s an issue too. Semi-wild kitties lounging about, preying on the good will of tourists and locals alike.

Surely with so many cats confined to the small island there are Aristocats inspired musical number going on in abandoned buildings.

Everywhere I go there are cats eyeing me suspiciously as they’re skulking under cars, sunbathing atop of motorized scooters, sitting on park benches, peaking through leaves. It’s very cute. Obviously.

It’s also a tad off-putting. Maybe it’s because my first encounter with stray cats en masse was when Christopher Walken pushed Michelle Pfeiffer out of  a window. She knew too much. And then this happened.

Michelle Pfeiffer is hurt and crazed looking.

“Honey, I’m home.”

(It’s not all bad. In a later scene of Batman Returns, Pfeiffer becomes a brilliant seamstress and fashions herself an ear-to-toe skin-tight leather suit and goes on to secure her place as the badass, whip-wielding woman we know and lust fear.)

Perhaps it is this particular fictional moment from my childhood that makes the sight of 11 cats prowling about the cobble-stones scary. Maybe that’s why I’m ready to use my Nikon in self-defense should the balls of fluff become all teeth and flying claws. I approach with caution when I want to take a photo – or 17. And when the cats start meowing their tiny, hungry meows and nuzzling my shins and gazing straight into my soul with their deep, saucer eyes, I show no fear! (They can smell fear).

You had better not trip now, says a reassuring voice in my head. One wrong move and you’re catnip.

Catnip, or maybe Catwoman? (I don’t plan on finding out)

Gallery of Cats (click to view bigger, fluffier pics):

*for individuals the answer to that question is “three cats.”

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3 thoughts on “Malta’s most adorable feral cat problem

  1. Pingback: Getting “Lost” | wheremyfeetgo

  2. Pingback: Malta’s most adorable feral cat problem: Vol. III | wheremyfeetgo

  3. Pingback: I’ve resolved to do something, apparently. | wheremyfeetgo

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