Traveling Cats - Travel Pictures of Cats

Cats from Venice {Italy}

Stray cat of Venice, Italy
Stray cat of Venice, Italy

As you stroll the back alleys of Venice, you wander through narrow passages, running endlessly like a labyrinth. The ground floors of the buildings often lack any signs of human habitation. The walls are decayed, the iron gratings over the windows loose and rusted. Even so, the brass bells by the doorways are wonderfully polished, and the upper floors are often festooned with clean laundry fluttering in the breeze, while lively music pours from windows.

These quiet neighborhoods are home to many cats. While conducting their lives behind the protective walls, Venetians still find time to care for the cats. My first friend in Venice, Luigina, had created a place known as "The Home for Stray Cats." In a small rented warehouse, she took in strays. She told me that she had spent ten years preparing meals and helping cats that had collapsed on the streets.

Stray cats of Venice, Italy
Windowsill cat of Venice, Italy

Normally, a place such as this might be viewed with distaste by its neighbors, but here, in contrast, it receives good-hearted support from many people. In our tour of her "home," Luigina happily introduced me to two toddling kittens, carefully watched by their mother, and said to me, "They are the first kittens born in my home." She was content with her cats, which were visited by countless neighbors dropping by to see the kittens playing in the mild spring sunshine.

Stray cats of Venice, Italy

Cats from Faliraki {Rhodes}


i love Faliraki

The seaside resort town Faliraki is a tourist hotspot on the east coast of the Greek island Rhodes. It's brimming with hotels, bars, nightclubs, restaurants, shops, and... cats. They serve as tableside companions, happy to dine on scraps, and as adorable photo accessories reclining on white stone walls.

faliraki beach
faliraki

Stray cats especially are a common feature on Rhodes, as on all the other Greek islands. That's because, unlike most of the western world, cats and dogs in Greece are rarely spayed and neutered and often run wild.
 
faliraki beach
cat on a hot tin roof

Many tourists offer food, water, and love to these cats. But once the tourist season is over, they are left to fend for themselves.

another cat

Luckily, there is a charity that takes care of the stray cats of Rhodes: Kalithea Cats (operating from the city of Kalithea). They mostly feed the cats that are brought to them from all over the island, but they also care for sick and abused animals and try to spay and neuter as many of them as possible. If you ever find a sick or injured animal on Rhodes, it's best to contact the organization or bring the animal directly to them.

do not disturb cat
seaside shop cat

The cats that are most at ease with humans go to Germany to be adopted. An organization called Flying Cats comes to Rhodes to collect animals twice a year. However, despite their efforts, the number of stray cats and dogs is still very high on the Greek islands.

faliraki cats

Photos by Eric Valette

cats of rhodes


Cat from Dubrovnik {Croatia}


dubrovnik kings landing

Writer Jennifer Deborah Walker – co-author of the travel books Lonely Planet Global Coffee Tour, Lonely Planet Around the World in 80 Food Trucks, Lonely Planet Global Distillery Tour, and many others – was in Dubrovnik a few years ago covering the Game of Thrones filming locations for an article (Dubrovnik represents King's Landing in the show). She was walking along the walls of the city and spotted this handsome Lannister Lion looking very regal. He was a more than willing to model and ended up being on the cover photo for the article.

dubrovnik game of thrones

dubrovnik kings landing game of thrones

Photos by Jennifer Deborah Walker

game of thrones cats

 

Cats from Porto Venere {Italy}

Porto Venere stairs

Porto Venere is a picturesque little town with a small port in Liguria in the northwest of Italy. It's part of what is often referred to as the Gulf of Poets.

The area was the favorite destination of such writers as Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, D.H. Lawrence, George Sand, Henry Miller, and Virginia Woolf.

Byron supposedly lived in a cave in Porto Venere and often swam 7.5 kilometres to visit the Shelleys near Lerici.

Porto Venere
Eric cat

fluffy cat

Just like the nearby Cinque Terre, the houses of Porto Venere are a colorful mix of pinks, yellows, and blues. It's a joy to explore the small alleyways where the locals live.


Porto Venere Venus bar

Porto Venere restaurant

cats Porto Venere

Many of the locals have cats. They treat them really well, unlike in many other towns in Italy where cats are often neglected. But in Porto Venere, no matter which alley you turn into, there's almost always a happy cat around the corner to greet you.

Porto Venere cat

Porto Venere kittens

On Via A. Colonna 13, you'll find a one-year-old white cat called Frida. She adores tourists and comes over for cuddles whenever someone approaches (her owners say she's way friendlier with tourists than with them). She only comes out at night and walks on a leash attached to a cable that runs the length of the street. Apparently, she escapes without a leash, and because she's deaf, she might get herself into trouble. Chances are you'll instantly fall in love with little Frida.

eric frida
Eric Frida

Another 'regular' is the tabby that guards an AirBnB situated on Via Vittoria 12. She's constantly outside, sleeping on the cushions next to the front door or next to the many plants that adorn the porch. Not a single tourist passes by without giving this cat a good ruffle.

AirBnB cats

Porto Venere AirBnB

AirBnB cat

cat backporto venere view from room  huiskat

Portovenere 
Even the shops have (well-fed) cats.

porto venere shop catporto venere shop

porto venere souvenir shop

porto venere shop

The only cat of Porto Venere that seems to be less fortunate is an elderly white cat that often visits the trattoria Tre Torri, hoping to get some scraps from the visitors.

trattoria tre torri

Photos: Vanessa Morgan & Eric Valette (photos 3, 10, 11, 17)

Porto Venere cats



Cats from Manarola {Italy}


Manarola stairs

In Liguria in the northwest of Italy lies a UNESCO World Heritage Site called Cinque Terre, a coastal area that is comprised of a national park and five villages (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare). 

Cinque Terre is a beloved tourist destination, but it's also popular with cats, most of which can be found in the colorful alleyways that are winding up the hillsides. Of all the five villages, Manarola is the one that houses the largest number of felines. 

Manarola boats
Manarola Italy
Manarola restaurant Aristide
Manarola ginger cats
Manarola streets
Manarola Italy view

Text and photos: Vanessa Morgan

Manarola cats


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