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!
There are two types of Super Bowl viewers: those who actually watch the football, and those who spend the game cramming their mouths full of whatever delicious greasy grub is at hand. Super Bowl food is an event in itself, the most gluttonous day on the American finger food calendar. On this day, the fried concoctions, dips, and booze we all love scores a real touchdown (that’s a football reference), but after the coin toss in MetLife stadium, no one is going to be bothered to head out into the polar vortex to source wings, pizza, beer, or White Castle—thank God, then, for takeout. And on this decadent day of edible indulgence, one’s hands must be cleaned and ready for licking—no nail soiled, no manicure overlooked.
For our own Super Bowl experience, we wanted nails that matched the caliber of our food. That meant nails with team-specific designs and nails that went perfectly with the food we’re digging into. So we put together this photo shoot—if you’re in New York for the game, it doubles as a visual guide to sourcing all of the libations and refreshments you’ll need come game day.
VICE: Hi, Sandra. How many cats are on the Catboat?
Catboat Sandra: We can house approximately 50 cats at a time. We have about 14 resident cats that are not adoptable. They were born outside and not socialized and will never be normal house cats. On the boat, they are relaxed with each other. Some of them will hide when it’s visiting hour. We neuter, vaccinate, and chip all the cats that come in. Sometimes, we also neuter cats that live outside. We think it’s very important that cats are neutered, because there are still so many stray cats. We also work with foster homes—most of the time one of our volunteers—if we have kittens with or without their mother.
—We took a visit to the world’s only floating cat sanctuary. Read all about it