Cats having lunch in Malta
Two cats having lunch in Mdina Malta, Feb 2007.

They take up residence under a car in Rabat. You find them lying on low walls overhanging Grand Harbour in Valletta. They thread their way through fishing boats turned upside down on the quays in Senglea...

Wherever you  stroll around in Malta, you meet cats.

Many males are russet, many females are tricolour. They're usually alone in the streets, sometimes grouped together in the parks. People feed them. In Valetta's streets, you can see small boxes or plates at many doors, with leftovers, catfood, water or milk. In Lower Baracca gardens, dinner time is impressive when some inhabitants come and bring food to twenty or so multicoloured cats. They don't fight. They share. They have time.

Malta in this respect reminds me of Venice, Greek islands or Provençal villages: cats seem to be the real masters here. Lenient masters actually, who put up with humans as long as they don't move too near, and serve them well. I believe they enjoy living in such beautiful locations, although they pretend to overlook gorgeous sceneries with supreme indifference. They know they are part of the beauty and peacefulness of the place, their native beauty holding their own against ephemeral human constructions.

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