The Cats of Miraflores

Working away at my drawing with my cat, Saphie, on my knee.

Today I have been working at my current drawing …with the occasional interruption from Saphie Cat.

The drawing I started before I went overseas is taking a long time.  Perhaps I will finish it next week.  In the meantime I would like to show you a society of cats I met in Parque Kennedy.  The location is a city park in Miraflores, an affluent district of Lima, Peru.

Censor’s warning: Do not read on if you can’t stand cats.  It will only upset you!

A good place to sleep?

A good place to sleep?

People of Lima carefully walk around the resting cats.

People of Lima carefully walk around the snoozing cats.

I spent a couple of hours observing and photographing the Miraflores cats.  Of course I could not resist stroking one or two and neither could other people.  (Yes, I washed my hands afterwards.)

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These cats are not exactly strays.  Apparently two were put in the park by local authorities in the late 1990s to deal with a rat problem.  Now there are about 120 cats.  They are regularly fed and supplied with fresh water.  I read that they are checked out by vets as well.  Certainly they looked healthy and as well padded as your own domestic moggy.  They liked affection and happily visited people who lingered in the park.  There must be some sort of population control as I didn’t see any sick looking cats nor did I see kittens.

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It is a rather perfect (purrfect) environment.  The cats have trees to climb and lawns to bound across or sleep on.  Cats fully utilize the flowerbeds and grass – while people (other than the gardeners) must stick to the paths.  It never rains because Lima is situated in a desert and even in winter the temperature remains mild.  As well as being fed pet-food, cats receive more than their fair share of people’s lunches and snacks.  An American father with his two daughters bought Kentucky Fried Chicken to share with the cats.  He happily reminisced to me about his cats back home while his daughters fussed over the felines.

Can you find two cats in this photo?

Where’s Wally?  Can you find two cats in this photo?

Good camoflage.

Good camouflage.

The climbing cat (from the last photo) has come back down again but still wants to explore.

The climbing cat (from the last photo) has come back down again but still wants to explore.

A priest from the local cathedral wanted to get rid of the cats.  Maybe he petitioned for their removal.  In any case, his suggestion provoked a public outcry.  The people insisted the cats of Miraflores must stay.

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Perhaps there are big fights at night.  I’m sure they have their secrets.  But during the day I didn’t see a single sign of aggression amongst the cats.  It looked like a civilized democratic group.

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The bird population looked robust.  I didn’t see any rats or mice though.

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While I didn’t know what I would come across in Lima, I never expected to find a cat society.  I’m sure I will draw a Miraflores cat or two some time in the near future.

"I'm the cat on day-watch while my companions sleep."

“I’m the cat on day-watch while my companions sleep.”

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About juliepodstolski

I am a realist artist who works in coloured pencils.
Image | This entry was posted in photography, travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The Cats of Miraflores

  1. hafandegFran says:

    How lovely. If only all the cats of the world were treated as well…

  2. Pixiey says:

    I really enjoyed reading your blog and look forward very much to the finished drawing!!

  3. Ann Kullberg says:

    I don’t even particularly like cats, but I LOVE this post. A lovely little break from my busy night…made me smile and really want to be a Miraflores cat. They look like they have a nice life filled with beauty! 🙂
    Thanks for posting this!

  4. Stephanie says:

    What a great post. Never knew such a place exsisted. If there is a cat heaven I believe this must be it!

  5. Wonderful! Seeing people walk around the sleeping cats made me think of the cows in India that come and go as they please, and people accommodate them happily!

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