At the end of a week when one of the biggest stories online was about the senseless killing of a majestic cat, let us celebrate the many smaller, less majestic cats, dogs, tortoises and other creatures so deeply loved by us, the people of Global Voices.
EB White (Janine – Trinidad and Tobago):
“Full Name: E.B. White Nenninger Franco. E.B. stands for “Easter Bunny”—my son won her in an Easter Egg Hunt.
Species: Oryctolagus cuniculus (Domestic rabbit)
Arch enemy: Moses Donovan Mungal Franco (he's the ferocious looking one on top)
Hobbies: Digging burrows, destroying plants, teasing canines
Favourite Pastime: Chilling, spread-eagled, on the front lawn
Ambition: To see the world
Special Talent: Ninja hopping—seriously, it's like a scene from The Matrix.
Unique Qualities: Independent, cuddly (but cat-like), introspective, sociable and a tree-hugger.”
LC (Jillian – USA/Germany) “She lives with my mom these days, but this is LC (“Little Cat”), the kitten I found on the street in Meknes, Morocco in 2007. She's lived there, Boston, San Francisco, and now New Hampshire. A very global meow.”
Zambo (Juan – Peru) “When my daughters saved Zambo from the street he was just bones and whiskers. In addition, he had a problem with one of his hind legs, near his rump that the doctor said it was product of a blow, maybe a kick. But he chose to live and in the end was adopted by my old aunt. Now he’s her cat, although he seems more like her dog, because Zambo follows my aunt everywhere she goes.”
Zack (Adriana – Mexico) “Zack is 3 years old. He cannot take long walks because of his breed. He never barks and is not fierce, but the opposite—he’s a lovely dog and a good company. It´s difficult to sleep around him because he snores very loudly!”
Papiko (Nevin – Canada/Japan) “We brought Papiko back with us when we returned to Canada after living in Japan for about 10 years. For various reasons we ended up having to give her up, but we found a good home.”
Naibor (Robert – Colombia/USA “This is my dog, Naibor. He's a14-year-old shi tzu (in human years, that is).”
Melo (Rami – Brazil): “When I was in Bahrain I adopted 3-month old “Melo,” named because of her honey-coloured coat (“mel” means “honey” in Portuguese). Melo and I had the best four years together in Bahrain, but I had was unable to take her back to Brazil in when we left Bahrain in 2011. I left Melo with one of our friends. Since then I’ve been promising my kids that we’ll get a dog when we have a bigger house.”
Abla (Abir – Lebanon/France): “Everyone, meet Abla—she is Lebanese, currently living in sunny Marseille. Abla was a cat in a previous life. She sleeps all day, has very vivid dreams and loves carrot salad. Abla is fluent in Arabic and French, and is by far the fastest dog in Marseille. She believes there is treasure in the living room couch and we don't seem to be able to convince her otherwise!”
Pioum (Claire – France): “Pioum was our family cat, born under a pile of stuffed toys in my son's room. She grew from spastic youth to an over gifted and slightly hysterical cat, convinced she was human and that I was her real mother. She would open the fridge when she got bored with TV, loved pizza, sat on a stool to watch TV documentaries about wild life, and scolded me if I stayed up too late. She understood everything, as soul mates do.
“She also travelled to Italy, Spain, slept in hotel rooms, ruined countless dark clothes with her white hair, fell from the fifth floor and walked away intact, and met many GV members. Suzanne, Thalia, Boukary, Lova, Gohary, Laura (Vidal), Norbert, Richard, Marie-Laure, Savannah, Danica, Nasser, Rania, Hisham, and all the many GVers who met her in Paris, I know she struck you as an “unusual” cat: that's because she was magic.
“Pioum passed away in July 2014, at the age of 15 (human years), and it's not been easy, so I'm glad she will be sleeping here on a cushion of pixels forever. It’s completely fitting, as she sat beside me through so many years of GV translations, editing, Skype conferences. . . .”
Felix (Palash – Bangladesh ): “This is Felix, one of three cats I lived with in Russia. Three generations of his family had lived in the house where I lived, and it was a shame he was alone. He is almost 14 human years, loves meat and even at this age is very active. Felix's owner used to carry him on his shoulder. The cat got used to it and whenever he could he would jump on anyone's shoulder.
“I never had a particular fondness for pets, but Felix grew on me. I would wake up and find him on the pillow, growling, and play with him with a toy mouse.”
Dennis, Delphine and Salvador (Georgia – Trinidad and Tobago): “This photo tells you everything you need to know about my trio of mutts. All three are rescues. Salvador has only one ear flap but that doesn’t seem to bother him in the least. Delphine and Dennis, on the other hand, have all their body parts but always seem to find something to be pissed off about. Delphine, at least, has the excuse of relatively old age—she turned 14 human years this year.”
Agatha (Juan – Peru) – “Hi, I'm Agatha, aka Agaturra, aka Turrita. My only way to know you is to bite you, or your shoes. My humans usually don't have enough time for me, but I don't care too much since the world is full of things to bite. And I have a cat (Zambo) to play with, but sometimes the cat prefers to sleep. I recently changed my teeth, so I have a whole new set of teeth to taste to the world. I've heard that tweeps are tasty, so come and visit me.”
Elio, Mika and Milo (Romina – Argentina) “I have three “children” whom I love with all my heart and make me really happy.
“Elio, the orange boy, must be now almost five years old. He is very peaceful, his meow is soft, even when he’s really hungry asking for food. He's very gregarious and loves to be surrounded by people.
“Mika is my two-year-old little black panther. I adopted her when she was six months from a little group of rescuers who told me she was found in a dump, skinny, sick and full of parasites. They took care of her and when she was ready they put her in adoption. I fell in love when I saw her photo! She has retained some neuroses from her past life, but despite her anxious character, she is very sweet.
“Milo is my most recent adoption. He was less than two months when I adopted him after I came back from de GV Summit, and I had no idea he would become so hairy. Look at that long furry tail! He's six months now and by the end of the month he will be neutered, as he’s already VERY MUCH in heat and sometimes he gets a bit annoying. Like every kitten, he runs like crazy around the apartment, plays a lot, and little by little he’s copying some habits from the others, usually the bad ones!”
Black Snow (Lova – France/Madagascar) “Like her Game of Thrones namesake, Black Snow does not know her birth mother, but she made do and traveled thousand miles to fight over the wall (the newspaper).”
Birds of Kolkata (Aparna – India) “Do you have people over for breakfast every day? And do those people, in turn, invited their friends and relatives to drop by for breakfast too? Well, I have, and they often come in batches. Some are quite bold and getting bolder by the day. Others are terribly people/ camera-shy and prefer to eat when no one is watching.
“Yes, am talking about my feathered friends who come every morning and wait around patiently (some not so patiently, because their loud chirps are enough to wake me up) for breakfast to be served. It started with the sparrows, but now they’ve been joined by pigeons and doves (the latter, being the shyest of them all, refused to be photographed, citing privacy concerns).
“Their numbers grow by the day. It's funny to see them waiting around, some even peering down from the sunshade above the window, to check if the food and water have been laid out.”
Tasmie, Cathy and Blue (Maria – USA) “This is Tasmie (R, black and white) and Cathy, left, who died a couple of weeks ago). In the middle is Blue, a more recent family member.”
Hamida (Afef – Tunisia) “Meet my cat Hamida, aged 2. She is the most arrogant cat I've ever had. As it’s summer Hamida sleeps almost all day long and stays awake all night. She's a good hunter and brings home all sorts of gifts including mice and lizards.
“Last week I brought home a new kitten I found starving in the parking lot of a supermarket. Hamida is not happy about it!”
Ada and Hibou (Jeremy – Canada) “Ada and Hibou are my two Siberian cats. The breed, as the name implies, is originally from Russia, so they have enough fur to survive winters outdoors and it’s believed they were a wild race that was re-domesticated into their current form. Siberians are “hypo-allergenic” and some allergy-sufferers like me are immune to them, which is why I got them pure bred.
“Ada is named after Ada Lovelace, a historical woman who basically invented computer programming and who symbolizes the long-standing value of women in technology, even when they were under-represented (unlike on GV!).
“Hibou’s name is the French word for “owl” because as a kitten I thought he resembled an owl. Now that I know him better I realize I should have named him “raton laveur”, the French word for raccoon.”
Félix (Suzanne – France) “Introducing Félix, my son's very elegant cat. When he visited me he used to enjoy the view from the window of my study, followed by a moment of meditation in front of the piano keyboard.”
Tigre en Papier (Samy Boutayeb) “This is my “tigre en papier”. It tells me to be afraid and to give up my freedoms. Those of us who have experienced injustice or violence— including political, social or economic violence—may also have a tigre en papier. But its very nature—being made of paper—demonstrates that it is nothing to be afraid of.”
Solomon (Marianna – USA) “Meet Solomon, my friend Caleb's 10-week-old Corgi. He is the true embodiment of good things coming in small packages. He's got a strong name for such a tiny little guy, but he is certainly living up to it—except for the fact that he may or may not be horrified of going outside and frequently decides that people's shoes are his world nemesis, thereby attacking them immediately upon seeing them.
“Like any other well-cultured 21st century pet, Solomon recently got his very own Instagram account and can be followed at @solomon.says.”
Leo (Sarah – USA) “Here's my puppy, Leo, attacking a dinosaur. He's part-rabbit, part-wolf (he howls whenever he hears a siren, which is unfortunately very often in Los Angeles), and the most communal animal I've ever met. Every person he meets becomes part of the pack, and he will herd us to keep us all together and safe. He loves long walks, but not on the beach because he hates getting wet.”
Peter (Nicholas – Trinidad and Tobago) “Here's Peter, my pet morocoy—a kind of tortoise (Geochelone denticulata)—about to enjoy a light fruit lunch. We adopted Peter nearly 21 years ago when he turned up, a hatchling, in a neighbour's backyard.”
Monet and Manja (Marinella – Croatia) “Monet was adopted from a dog shelter at two months old. He had some attachment problems due to some early ill treatment, but loves fetching and running and is really nice and smart. We like to call him “the little boss”. He is 18 months old now.
“Manja was adopted from a horse ranch and is frightened most of the time, but has a heart big as an ocean. She loves swimming and running trough the forest. Manja is only ten months old and we really hope she will stop growing soon—she’s the kind of dog that does not understand that she is not a pup any more.
“Monet and Manja love each other so much I don't think they would ever enjoy being alone ever again. (We also have four fish, but they didn't want to be showcased online—they are a bit shy!)”
Mostaza (Lully – Colombia) “Meet my Mostaza. She is a beautiful female cat who turned up at my mother 7 years ago, when she was just a kitten. Her arrival brought great cheer and happiness into our lives, and continued to do so even when I moved to my own apartment.
“When Mostaza first arrived, I refused to let myself be touched even by her beautiful tail when greeted. Now every time I see her I want to play with her.”
Woofy (N'Donna – Canada) Unfortunately, my son and I are unable to have a real pet and most of our friends here have no pets of their own. However, I'd still like to introduce you all to Woofy, my beloved dog stuffie. I found him last year during a Free Store event timed just as Final Exams were to start. We love Woofy because he's the perfect lap dog, very soft and very cute. He was very instrumental in keeping me sane as I finished my undergrad thesis, as petting him helped tmeo combat serious bouts of stress. Even though I'm sure I'm due for a real pet someday, I will always have Woofy!
The Ayoub dogs (Joey – Lebanon) “The Ayoub dogs are kind enough to host us mortal humans in their home. We all live together in a nice village house somewhere in the mountains of Lebanon. We have a garden, but they move freely throughout the house and sleep inside at night.”
Lulu and Sugar (Lara – Dubai): “Lulu (on top of the basket that he skillfully ruined) gets his name from the Arabic word for “pearl”, although I admit I should have looked under his tail before agreeing to my daughter’s suggestion of the name! He’s a naughty boy, picks fights with his sister and LOVES wet cat food (he’s getting a bit overweight now). I just love the different colors of his eyes – a feature he inherited from his grandmother.
“Sugar, on the other hand is a very calm and loving cat. All she wants is to catch birds (from behind the window) and curl up at my feet at night.
“Like Afef’s cats they both bring home lots of presents, in the form of half-dead pigeons and baby mice.”
Lola (Helen – Guatemala/USA): “This is Lola, she is a rare female red tabby. (My vet tells me that only 20% red tabbies are female, the rest are male). She is a cuddly walking stuffed animal and she loves and demands attention. She is very gentle and never scratches my daughter or the furniture. Even though, she is 12 years old (about 70 years in cat years), she still looks and acts as if she was a kitten. Since she is an indoor cat, she is always plotting her scape to run behind the hedges in front of the house! As seen on the attached picture. However, we always catch her!”