Los Perros y Gatos del Ciudad

Mausoleum Cat

It’s been pouring today as it has on and off for the past three days. I actually enjoy the cool humidity it brings, but today E. and I got caught in the downpour while walking back from the Recoleta neighborhood. We walked through flash flood waters in what became cobblestone streams rather than streets. Recoleta is a distinguished upper-class enclave with a lot of European style houses. The cemetery where Evita Peron is entombed is also here. Our neighborhood, Palermo, is next to Recoleta.

We met some American friends-of-friends who live in the neighborhood and had lunch, stopping at the nearby mausoleum afterwards. One of the most fabulous attributes of Buenos Aires that I haven’t mentioned is the number of cats and dogs in the city. Some of you may be familiar with my affection for animals and young aspirations of veterinary work. The dogs are primarily the happy side to this story–they usually have loving homes. I see more dogs than children on the street. Our American friend confessed to seeing a dog walker holding the leashes of ten dogs with a beagle bundled in his arms like an infant.

Beagles seem to be the Buenos Aires mascot, followed closely to golden retrievers and miniature schnauzers.

The cats’ fates are a little more dismal. They proliferate in the cemeteries and city parks. I have not found literature on cats being spayed or neutered, which is regretful. The feral cats are, however, doted upon by locals who leave leftovers and cat tidbits throughout the parks. I had an entire audience of cats in Carlos Thays Park, but I declined petting due to their questionable (infested?) fur.

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