Walking home from the Centraal Museum last weekend, I stopped, as always, to take a photo of the southern end of the Nieuwegracht. I could see daffodils starting to bloom and the trees starting to regain their leaves, all with the dappled sunlight on the canal waters. Charming! Then, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a cat, and not where you might think I would have seen it.
There, in the middle! No, not on the street. In the window. A winkel kat (shop cat)! It’s not uncommon to see cats in the windows of restaurants and bars, even more so when they’re right there next to a canal. There’s even a book dedicated to the winkel katten of Utrecht, who keep vermin out and look adorable in the process.
This one didn’t seem to be working too hard at the moment. Perhaps he was on his break. Or he was just being typically Dutch. At the first signs of spring sunshine, everyone takes to the streets, sidewalks, parks, and anywhere else they can soak up a few rays of sun. This cat sat there dozing in the warmth coming through the front window. I could see him slightly weaving, eyes shut, mouth slightly parted in what could only be the beginnings of a smile. Ah! Spring!