Of all the things other cities in other countries have –beautiful buildings, interesting culture, great food, rich history– the one I truly wish you could find more often in the United States is feral cats. You’re laughing now aren’t you? But, I’m completely serious.
I was reading a book the other day in a small community garden in Gowanus, Brooklyn that happened to mention feral cats. And, it got me thinking about the many other countries you can travel to and come across such animals at every turn. Now I’m not the most worldly of travelers, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say there is some sort of poetry that lies beneath the images you see and the descriptions you read about the cats that roam the cities of Europe and Latin America. They add something to the culture. They’re part of the history. They’re part of the story. Would Rome really be Rome without its cats? Without having been to Rome, my guess is probably not.
As it turns out –thanks to a quick bit of research— the US does in fact have a very large feral cat population. As of 2004 there were more than 70 million feral cats in the country and my guess is the number has only grown. So while we may not be seeing them they’re there. Which, brings me back to my initial point: where are all the feral cats?
As irony would have it, on my walk home I stumbled passed a bench with a cat. I’m fairly certain the cat is completely domesticated rather than wild, but it helped squelch my growing curiosity.