We stayed, as many tourists do, in Miraflores in Lima. I had been to Lima once before for work, also staying in Miraflores, and well, it’s a wealthy suburb of a very large, complex city with a serious air pollution problem and more buses than you could shake a stick at.
People at the hotel seemed very keen for us to go on a loop of a walk (before Mamaj contracted a greenish shade of bronchitis), and this we did, connecting where we were to the Parque de Amor with its giant statue of a couple kissing and Gaudi-like mosaics, right on the coast, with people paragliding overhead. We also dutifully checked out the mall on the water, like you do, and then weaved our way back, stopping at Parque Kennedy, which we were assured was Miraflores’ “central park.” More like a giant green plaza, but pretty, tranquil, with people eating turrones (not like the turrones in Chile, these are a layered/stacked pastry, layered with (I think) manjar/dulce de leche), and strangely, picorones (fried pastry in sweet syrup). Strange because a) we don’t really eat food like that on the street in Chile and b) it wasn’t even raining!
And then we rounded the corner and started to see the occassional cat. On some stairs.
And behind a golden railing:
And in the flowers:
And then we saw that it wasn’t just the occasional cat, it was scads of them:
Including this really oddly-pigmented one, which really looks like someone mixed-and-matched some cat parts. (Don’t try this at home)-
And then we found out it is both illegal to dump cats in the street, though clearly, this rule has been flouted, on at least two occasions:
And that nobody unauthorized may feed the cats (which seemed to be fed quite well):
It’s so bizarre (and strangely unsmelly) to see such a large quantity of cats on the street. In Santiago we have a few key locations (down in Yungay there’s a couple) and in the Vega, where they live on scraps and sleep on the vegetables. No dogs were around to bother them, nobody taunted them or poked at them, they weren’t hissing or fighting and they were just curled up against the perma-cloud-cover in Lima, sleeping. Though I did see one beg for some picarón, and get some, and eat it. A dog in Chile would have turned up his hocico (muzzle).
And now, for something completely un-catlike. Pegged jeans? Still in. Me caring about fashion? Never. But it shows the vaguest glimpse of what’s going on in architectureland in Lima, which I owe you, and I will not forget. Now don’t abandon any cats in the street while I’m gone.
Wow, so many cats in that 4th photo. And the fact they have a sign there saying you can’t dump/abandon any there shows there is a bit of a problem about it.
It reminds me of all the cats they have at Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires. That surprised me too.
yes! I had totally forgotten about the kitties in Recoleta, BA. Argentina just kind of has animals all over, cats in the cemetary, dogs everywhere. Not many in Arequipa, though I did just see a dog wearing a dress the other day (sorry, no photo!).
Wow! Nice to read they all get along and don’t mind tourists. Guess there’s not much of a spay/neuter program, huh? Well they all do look well fed.
Like the architecture shot a lot. The hinges alone are impressive!
Oh! The woman is sporting “jeggins” (denim/jean leggings) – very popular these days.
I couldn’t even say if they knew we were there. Didn’t respond to the clickety shusshing we do to make cats come. Didn’t even move a whisker! And my mom says jeggings are out. Are you going to do battle with my mom? I’d never wear them, regardless!
Cuidado! No cat scratch fever, please….
how do I say indeedly in Spanish?
Best post ever! Love the kitties.
You know I was thinking of you, Abby, when I posted the pics. They send their love to Charlie and hope he finally dislodges that doorstop, like he tried to as a kitten.
Hahaha he sends his regards as well. It looks like he might have a second cousin or two among that group…:)
And there were no dogs? Funny thing, Lima being the empire of cats and Santiago the dominion of dogs
everyone I talked to in Lima said there were many dogs, but the city is so huge, and I’m so fierce, that I guess they were hiding from me. Or they heard I’m not particularly tasty. 🙂
I read somewhere that male cats can not have more than 2 colours. So If you see a cat with 3 colours you know it is a female.
So that mix-match cat above must be a girl, bet that is a tough life! (although she doesn’t look too bothered!)
My daughter has a pair of “jeggins”, very popular in the UK last year…but I only were leggings with a nice lonnnng sweater! 🙂
I have heard that about “calico” cats as well, but these particular markings surprised me. I have not seen one that was striped and orange so close together before. Love calico kitties.
People can wear whatever they want, and I don’t care much at all, but my mother says people in NY are wearing wider-legged pants lately. Who knows if she’s right. I try to steer clear of any fashion at all so things don’t go out of fashion so easily. I can easily attest that tight jeans with boots on the outside are still all the rage in Peru!
When I was in Morocco there are cats on the street everywhere, but I never saw such amusing signs!
well then, sounds like something for a Spanish-to-Arabic/French translator to whip up!
Really beautiful photos, thank you! Paragliders! oy vey, I remember them … their appearance was just so unlikely, when you first see them. Big human kites.
If the bar Bohemia is still there (and you are still there) on Ovalo Gutierrez, I encourage you to check it out. Best Manhattans ever. Have fun!
I am much more a “cat person” than a “dog person.” Perhaps I should consider moving to Lima…?
I’ve heard that, too. Tricolor cats are females. Whereas, at least 80% of orange tabbies are males. When I was searching (in vain) for a female orange tabby, that’s what my vet told me.
There are stories about how the cats came to be in Parque Kennedy – most likely is that they are descendants of a rat catcher that was kept in the cathedral there. The signs are relatively new – because there are so many cats there already, people thought it would be ok if they just dumped their unwanted kitties there too 🙁
There are people who come daily to feed and take care of the cats; many of them are in fact neutered.
It’s true you won’t see a lot of stray dogs in the touristy areas of town. But once you get away from those little pockets of cleanliness, you’ll find street dogs everywhere. I couldn’t even walk my dogs in our previous neighborhood because of the loose dogs.
And – I absolutely love the pic of the kitty lounging in the flowers!
We’re teeming with stray dogs in places in Santago, as well. I’ve had a few… altercations. The kitties are sweet, no barking, no attacking (at least these). Glad to hear they’re working on population control with the cats. I was surprised to see them begging for food, and that people gave it to them. Those are probably originally housecats. (sad!).
Thanks for popping in!