While walking through the Domplein today, I saw this cat and wanted to get a photo, because she had some fantastic markings and just a face full of character. Unfortunately, she got up and moved before I could get a proper photo. Still, I got her mid-lick as it seemed she’d just finished eating something.
As I watched to see where she was headed, in the hopes of still getting a proper photo, I realized she was heading straight for the VVV office (tourist information center). Sure enough, she walked straight up to the doors, which happen to be electronic sliding doors and they opened right up for her.
She went straight to the heater in the foyer area and settled in to get warm and comfy. There’s another set of doors to get into the actual heart of the tourist office, but she didn’t bother going that far. The doors shut behind her and she was obviously where she wanted to be. Smart cat!
On my regular visits to the Domkerk to photograph the gargoyles, I’ve been running into this same cat almost every time. The first time, I stopped to give her a scritch after she came running up to me, but I forgot that I can be allergic to other cats. I’ve had time to get used to my own. I’m allergic to this one, because I started sneezing repeatedly within about 10 minutes.
Still, I can admire her on my walks and we exchange greetings when we see each other. She doesn’t come running up to me now, but she does usually give me a nod of acknowledgement. With cats, you really can’t expect more than that.
While out on one of our walks recently, we spotted this cat on our way home. Just sitting in the window isn’t enough for this kitty. Her owners crack the window for her to get out and properly sun herself (in theory, if it wasn’t constantly spritzing with rain). She’s got a great spot on top of the collected mailboxes for the building. I guess the people there can blame the cat if a certain piece of mail goes missing! I wonder if this cat has the same reputation as dogs when it comes to mail deliverers.
You’ll notice the area on the wall that says “(b)rieven”. Brieven is the Dutch for letters/mail and that is the slot where the mail was originally delivered. Once the building was split up and the new boxes became available, the slot was closed up and now the mail is divided up among the individual boxes. Not as pretty, but most likely more efficient. Certainly more fun for the cat!
The cats obviously don’t take after me, since they’ve been hanging out either outside on the terrace or upstairs in the their bedroom (also known as the guest room), both of which are very warm areas with the hot weather we’re having. When I went upstairs to take out the last load of laundry, I saw Luna and Lola hanging out just as you see them in the photo. Being at the top of the house, that room is particularly warm. By the time I’d taken just a couple of photos, I was already sweating. The cats just looked relaxed. Luna is the one in the foreground; Lola is the one in the back looking like an odalisque.
She had also been fascinated by the sunlight earlier this morning, particularly as it glinted off the fan as it oscillated.
Other neighbour cats were enjoying the warm weather, as well, napping in all sorts of strange places, including the overturned seat of a set of stacked chairs on a balcony.
Me? I’m staying downstairs, where it’s slightly cooler. I may be down here all night if I want a chance of sleeping. It’s already hit 32C, which is right around 90F.
Last Sunday, as we were leaving the Summer Darkness events at the Domplein, I noticed this cat in the window above the bookstore by the Domtoren. At first he just seemed to be sitting there, enjoying the view, but as I started to try to get a couple of photos, he started to look as if he were considering jumping down! Fortunately, he changed his mind and perhaps decided to head downstairs via the actual stairs, because he disappeared back inside the room. Such a relief!
Utrecht seems to attract UFOs. First there was the one that landed on the Inktpot back in 2000. Sure, they say it’s just an art installation by Marc Ruygrok for Panorama 2000, but I’m pretty sure* it was a real alien landing along the lines of Area 51, and they’ve simply chosen to hide it in plain sight.
In fact, there’s even a special Area 51 exhibit over at the Stadhuis going on right now that I’ve tried to see, but was prevented from investigating more closely.**
And now, there was a sighting last night of UFOs over Voorstraat/Biltstraat, right in my neighbourhood! I’m pretty sure the cats were signalling to their fellow aliens. Luna was behaving particularly weird last night. Of course, everyone knows cats are from outer space.***
I hope they’re not coming for me! After all, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen alien spacecrafts. They keep trying to hide them in plain sight, such as on a mountain in Tennessee.
I’m onto them, though. I’ve got my tin foil and my towels ready. Boy Scouts weren’t the only ones taught to be prepared!
**I forgot they’re closed on Saturdays.
***This is completely true. Cats really are from outer space.
We’re going out in a few minutes to meet up with friends, so today’s post will just have to be this adorable black cat who lives near us. Walking home after running some errands earlier today, I saw her and just fell in love. Of course, I do have a penchant for black cats. Still, who could resist this adorable little face?
Saturday, while wandering around the city, I decided to stop in at the Flora’s Hof next to the Domtoren. They always have beautiful flowers and a changing array of plants on display, including my beloved palm tree. As I was about to leave through the old gate I saw a flurry of flying cats as the black cat pictured above seemed to be chasing a ginger cat through the window to the right. The ginger cat disappeared, but the black cat decided to hang out for a while.
Suddenly, though, I saw another ginger cat dart across the walkway and hide behind a bicycle parked next to the wall.
Such an adorable little face! I don’t think it was the same cat that ran in through the window, unless she’s got some secret underground passage that lets her out on the opposite side in very short order. But they are cats, so it may well have been the same cat. They are great at disappearing acts and popping up where you least expect them.
The black and white cat eventually decided to head back indoors, perhaps to cool off for a few moments from all the sunbathing and running around. I’ve seen quite a few cats in the Flora’s Hof over the years, providing yet another reason to stop in whenever I get a chance. There’s no telling what hijinx you’re bound to see!
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!
Cats and canals, or more specifically, cats and the water in the canals, don’t usually mix well. But in a country where both cats and canals exist in large numbers, there’s bound to be the inevitable crossing of paths. Sadly, not all cats survive their canal encounters.
Fortunately, there are groups like Kat Uit de Gracht (Cat out of the canal) that work to protect cats from a watery end. Through the installation of special ropes along canal edges and tray islands in the canals, along with education, environmental changes, etc., they try to discourage cats from areas where they’ll be at risk, or give them a place to take refuge if they do find themselves in the water.
Here in Utrecht, in the Koekoeksvaart (the appropriately named cuckoo canal), tray islands have been installed in the canal to give cats a place of purchase until they can be rescued. Hang in there, kitties!