Monday, July 31, 2017

Abu Hurayrah in the blue city

Since settling in to Chefchaouen, I have since picked up the quotidian task of feeding the blue city's stray cats.  More specifically, the dozen or so who live in the blue Plaza el-Hauta just down from my hotel.  Just one stray cat taking care of the rest.

I generally collect about 4 or so large plastic bottles, and cut the bottoms to make little cups.  Then I buy a small 250ml carton of milk (3.5 dirhams, 35cents) and feed the cats of the square.

I do this twice a day, once in the morning before the sun starts bearing down and there is no shade in the plaza; once in the evening after the sun's heat has waxed and waned, and the blue square has cooled down in the afternoon shade.

The people of the quarter watch on at my care for their cats, and they smile at the gesture.  I personify my nickname of Abu Hurayrah ("The Father of Kittens"), and some of the Chaouenis refer to my by my nom de guerre.

Anyway, I would not have been writing about any of this had it not been for a slight yet interesting development.  This morning, as I was getting back from my shower--before my daily feeding, I happened to look out my hotel room window onto the street.

There was a boy outside, carrying the equivalent of one of my cat-feeding bottle/cup contraptions. He had the small plastic saucer full of milk, and he was taking it to a small kitten in the alley.

I had seen this kitten before, he had wandered away from the square and I had been concerned for his welfare away from the rest of the herd (gaggle? pride?) of cats.  Yet his welfare was being taken care-of, in a manner akin to the work of Abu Hurayrah.

I smiled.  I had not seen anything of the equivalent for the days before I started my feedings. I don't know if it will continue, or if I really had any effect on this gesture.  But I can hope, and smile at this development.

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