Sardinian stray cats 'n stray dogs

20/11/2011 09:50:27

Sardinian stray cats 'n stray dogs

Early one morning I was sitting on the steps of the entrance to the hotel. I never sleep late and I enjoy to stroll about or just sit to breath in the fresh morning air. In Sardinia the rest of the day the heat can be merciless. Among the early birds were also the bakery vans that dropped off their fresh deliveries at the bar just across the street. And the fisherman in their boats coming and going. It has something peaceful, the early morning in a seaside village.

I heard a clattering noise. Stray dogs. They had found a garbage bin and hoped to find something useful, tearing apart a plastic bag. One of the dogs strolled on past the hotel. There are other pubs and hotels there and probably there would be something for him. The dog had an air of dignified selfconciousness about him. Without looking at me he passed on and around the corner to return a moment later making his way back. The first cars passed by and pulled up on the small square, men and women crossed the street and entered the bar. The faint smell suggested a breakfast with an espresso and a brioche. The day had begun.
It was not the first time I encountered stray animals on Sardinia. What stroke me was the independent attitude, the routine movement, the respectful distance between dog and man. The look in the eyes. I would see this look more often and I decided next time I would have my camera at hand and shoot a picture.
At archaeological sites there are many dogs and cats, probably not even really stray animals. I remember seeing two dogs strolling on the archaeological site at Tharros, keeping their distance behind us. The same thing happened at Santa Cristina. The dog followed us and then sat down at the entrance of the perimeter of the sacred well. They're no beggars. I missed to take a picture of the cat hunting at Nora between the roman walls. I did manage to shoot a picture of the two dogs and the cat that kept us company when waiting at Monte Sirai for the site to open. At the necropolis of Montessu we were accompanied by several dogs while climbing up the hill. In that occasion we had a guide and while he talked about the site the dogs settled themselves in the prehistoric graves in the shadow of the surrounding trees.
Ofcourse there is a difference between the animals at archaeological sites and the stray animals in towns and villages. While the first are attended by people, the latter have to fend for themselves and depend on what they can get. At Bosa Marina a whole family of cats housed between the enormous basalt blocks that protected the pier against the Mistral. People brought food for them but they always kept at a safe distance. It is also known that there is a colony of stray cats at Su Pallosu on the peninsula of Sinis, in fact they have become so famous that they even have a their own Facebook page. At Cala Domestica we were greeted by two cats in a for the rest completely deserted parking lot.
In may 2011 we visited Sardinia again. The first night we spent near the airport and the next day we visited Alghero. The historical town center was quiet on that Sunday morning, just a few people. And stray cats that had taken possession of the open air theatre near the port. And a stray dog, with that same look in his eyes. This time I had my camera ready and I was able to shoot my picture.

Sardinian stray cats 'n stray dogs

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