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Photographer's Note

In Yemen, cats are free. With a few exceptions, possibly, but I didn't see any. They're like the cats I've seen on cemeteries, living next to humans, half-fearing them, having to fend for themselves by hunting or living off scraps or an occasional stolen morsel of food. (Increasingly better garbage disposal won't be to their advantage.)

I only saw reasonably well-fed cats in one place: outside the hotel in Kawkaban where we stayed; no one was actually taking care of them but they had hit on the knack of ingratiating themselves with the tourists and begging for food, effectively becoming tourists' pets. They were annoying and flee-ridden as well - not our pets!

Now Yemen is a very poor country, and keeping pets essentially is a luxury, but I saw children carrying puppies (on one occasion even a boy with a little fox) - never children with cats.

Of course, with no humans who take care of them, it becomes a matter of survival of the fittest - or the smartest. This little kitten I spotted seemed to symbolize this to me: just old enough to have to find its own food, not smart enough or strong enough to compete for what little there was. And somehow also a symbol of poverty.

A fly is sitting next to its head: soon this kitten will become food itself.

Prop, erthmuffin, Mondaychild has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Marjolein Katsma (iamback) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 16 W: 2 N: 29] (50)
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