One of the first things you may notice when you come to Morocco is how many stray cats there are. But surprisingly most of them, even if a little dusty, seem to have a good life on the street. You might ask how is it possible? Well… People here simply love cats so they feed them and even let them come into cafés’ gardens. Nobody’s chasing cats here, so don’t be surprised when some furry creature will start asking you for food and pets while having breakfast in a coffee shop, or while having dinner in a restaurant. So if you don’t like the furry company, you better eat inside;)
Cats are defiinitelly the most common pets in here. Well, they can compete only with birds of all kind. So… Why are cats so special?
Cats in Islamic culture
The great role in cat worship play culture and religion. In Islamic culture cats are respected because of their cleanliness. Not a big surprise, eh? I still remember one song I learnt in kindergarten about a cat who washes itself before every meal and before sleep (so us-children should follow the cat’s example and be clean) 😉
In Islamic culture people claim cats are ritually clean, so they can enter any place. I even saw stray cats leaving and entering a mosque, and nobody was trying to chase them out!
Other reason of the cat worship is the example of Prophet Muhammad, who, according to tradition, was a real friend of cats and treated them with kindness and love. There is a leggend saying that once at the prayer time Prophet’s cat, Muezza, was sleeping on the sleeve of his prayer robe, so Muhammad preferred to cut off the sleeve rather than waking the cat up.
According to ‘ahadith (oral traditional tales about prophet’s life), Muslim can go to hell for mistreating a cat, like a woman from the story, who locked up and starved a cat to death.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do
So… Here I am – declared dog lover, owning a beautiful stray cat – Mimish (which means nothing more than a “kitten” in darija – moroccan arabic). He started coming at our door begging for food and within one week from a homeless beggar he became a king of our house. But let’s be honest, is there anyone that could resist those eyes? 😀
So, what about you? Are you cat lovers, or maybe you prefer dogs? Let me know in the comments!
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