The Mangy/Adorable Cats of Marrakech Need Names
The best thing about Marrakech, one of my favorite Moroccan cities, is its out-of-control cat population. I love cats and have a soft spot for deformed and mangy cats, so Marrakech is heaven for me—all of the city’s friendly people, delicious food, and beautiful rugs are cool too, but I’m really all about the cats. I like naming the cats and picking them up no matter how filthy they are. Here are some of the cats I’ve met in Marrakech.
I named this cat Paris. He has a cute, wonky eye. I met him in the Ourika Valley while hunting for textiles on a rainy day. He has tiny paws.
Here’s Moto. He was always lounging in the shade of this motorcycle.
This is Palace Cat. Every day she sat outside the palace guarding it. I never saw anyone sitting on this bench besides her.
This is Meowy. He’s named Meowy because he meowed a lot when I took his picture. Afterwards, he walked over to me to receive a good pet. Marrakech’s cats are typically friendly.
It’s uncommon for people to have cats as pets in Morocco—at least not in the medinas—but some cats will hang out at shops and become shop cats. You can usually find this cat getting sun at this art shop. The owners don’t mind him because he eats mice and attracts tourists.
This kitten is puny, especially compared to that big stone lion. There’s a shop I go to to get textiles, and going there is such a treat because cats and kittens rule the place. It’s called Mustapha Blaoui. It is the premier destination for Moroccan cat tourism.
These cats are tired after a long day. It was around 100 degrees when this photo was taken. So sleepy!
While the super-car or the SUV has replaced the camel as the most popular means of transportation in the modern Emirates, the animal retains an important place in the nation’s heart. “Beautiful camel” may strike you as something of an oxymoron. But many a bedouin or sheikh will think nothing of dropping up to $3 million dollars on a so-called prized beauty, in the hope that she’ll bring home the coveted Bayraq—the fairest camel in the land. In this episode of The VICE Guide to Travel, Charlet finds herself the only woman in the desert, looking for the elusive beauty in the beast.
The Test of Timeless Aphrodisiacs
Dim the lights, crank the D’Angelo, pop the champagne, and fill your sockets with vanilla-scented Glade PlugIns—we’re mere hours away from the year’s most revered greeting-card-company holiday of true love and palpable loneliness known as Valentine’s Day. After somewhere between two weeks and half a century of dating, it becomes your obligation to bestow upon your sweetheart not only an enchanting and dignified evening of wining and dining but also a heavenly round of mutually orgasmic boning. Should your desire for your beloved be insufficient even after a half-dozen chocolate-covered strawberries and three glasses of bodega-bought Shiraz, I’ve gathered and tested five powerful aphrodisiacs from around the world that are alleged to inspire stirrings in even the most frigid pair of panties or boxer briefs. Try surprising your boo by feeding these love foods to him or her blindfolded, and watch your heartthrob melt into a humanoid puddle of sexual ecstasy on the spot.
Well, we’ve all heard this one. Slurp down a dozen or so of these mucousy little dudes, and Cupid’s arrow will get your briny blood yearning. Most would assume that this is because of oysters’ cunnilingual attributes; indeed, they do look, smell, and taste not unlike spread-eagle, aroused, but mysteriously cold and graying vaginas. It may shock you, but you are not the first person to notice this.
Yet there’s actually some legitimacy beyond the fact that they look like a Lindsay Lohan crotch shot. They’ve got tons of zinc and amino acids that scientists say actually increase blood flow, testosterone, and sperm count. If this is true, it’s curious that the Grand Central Oyster Bar doesn’t have more fistfights and public handjobs.
Basically a refrigerated rock with a particularly rubbery loogie on it, like when you cough up some creepy green stuff and know you’re about to get the flu.
Kind of horny. No physical awareness of stirrings on our end, but anyone who has worked in a restaurant has witnessed a weird date between middle-aged divorcées in which they’re getting super turned-on just by slurping these while gazing into each other’s eyes.
Inside the 2014 Ferret Fandango
After my hours spent in Gilbertsville, PA, a small town located on the outskirts of Philadelphia, this seems undeniable. It was evident as I walked from the parking lot full of minivans clad in ferret bumper stickers, strolled through the firehouse doors, and entered the judging ring. Here was a safe haven for people who owned not just one but, in some cases, upwards of 20 ferrets. Ferrents (ahem, ferret parents to common folk) gathered from various parts of the country, some driving as much as seven hours for the chance to show off their furry friends. You won’t find ferrets sauntering in dresses or ferrets jumping through hoops here—instead, nearly 100 ferrets and a strong, genuine community who have been coming together for more than 20 years. Yet somehow this is completely under the radar in comparison to cat shows and dog shows. Why? “I think it’s because a lot of people don’t realize how many ferret owners are out there,” explains Suzy Hahn, an attendee.
It wasn’t quite the Westminster for ferrets—that’s actually in August, at the Buckeye Bash in Ohio—but it was pretty damn close. Here is an inside look at the ferrets, festivities, and what the ferrents had to say at the 2014 Winter Ferret Fandango.
What brought you here today?
Suzy Hahn: We’ve been showing ferrets since 1996. We’re breeders—we’re the Four Paws Wrecking Crew, from Columbus, Ohio. We also do the photography—we’re Digital by Joe & Suzy—so we do the photography at the ferret shows. We’ve been doing this for quite a few years and really enjoy it. Enjoy meeting a lot of great people, enjoy seeing all the pretty ferrets. Oh, there are some really gorgeous ferrets around.
How many do you have?
We currently have 43 at the house.
How do you manage that?
They have their own two rooms of the house. They have their play areas, and you get them out and have to clean frequently. They are like any animal. You have to keep them clean, or they are going to smell. They do have a musky odor to them that fades if you get them fixed.
What drew you to ferrets?
Their personalities. Each one is so different. They are so individual. They will make you laugh and just constantly play. You could have a bad day at work, and they will just perk you up.
A global scene of 20,000 doll makers and collectors has developed around life-like replicas of newborns called Reborn Babies. The price of these dolls is usually anywhere from $250 to $800, depending on their complexity and level of detail. The most expensive doll, made by artist Romie Strydom, was sold to a collector for 22,000 euros—or around $30,000.
We spoke to Reborn Baby artists and collectors to get to the bottom of the Reborn Baby phenomenon.