As you stroll the streets of Kotor, charmed by Middle – Age palaces, you can’t help but noticing so many cats carelessly lying in the Sun.
Photo: Miroslav Majstorović, Instagram
Yes, they’ve become a living symbol of this museum – town. Hundreds of them. They meet excited tourists at the entrance, they are happy to pet, patient to strike a pose for social media, or they just simply ignore them.
They have found their peace, and nothing can disturb that. Typical Montenegrin, or rather typical Mediterranean way of life suits them perfectly.
Photo: Dijete sreće
It’s been a while since they have acclimatized to Kotor squares – of Arms, of Flour, of Museums, of Salad … and lately they even enjoy the walls of San Giovanni Fortress. When tourists climb 1426 stairs for a breathtaking view of Kotor from St. Ivan peak at 260 m of altitude, they encounter another beautiful scenery: Kotor cats used to taking photos, crowd and cuddling.
Photo: Molly Vierhile
Still, the greatest number of them are around the Church of Our Lady of Remedy, tens of them anytime of the day. However, it’s not a coincidence. Until last year, there used to be a small shop, and the owner used to feed the cats and take care of them.
Photo: Ranko Maraš
In 2014, Lonely Planet published an article about ten best cities for cats lovers, and naturally, Kotor was on the list. The article especially underlines the conduct of local community towards these kind animals that have become a touristic attraction of the town. These cats do not need to wait for fishermen to come back, they just crawl to the tourists in front of many restaurants that are keen to give them food.
Souvenirs with Kotor cats are all around the world, and a very interesting thing is Kotor Cats Museum, second such a museum in Europe (the first one opened in Amsterdam). This occurred to Italian Pierro Pazzi, a collector from Venice. This authentic museum is located in the ground floor of a former convent of the Lady of Angeles, in Kotor Cinema Square.
You can see first postage stamp from 1927 that has a cat on it, then some samples of old postcards from Germany and Russia, numerous old newspapers articles… At the occasion of celebrating one hundred years from World War I, visitors had a chance to see an exhibition “Cat in World War I”. They are shown playing with soldiers while resting, mostly on photos and drawings, graphic art.
However, it is not just a tourist attraction. The idea of Cats Museum aims at raising awareness with people on protection of nature and animals with whom we share it.
Materially – oriented, one often forgets that by taking care of animals, we can send the most beautiful message and image of our society to the world where those values have long ago been appraised. People from Kotor understand that, so the rest of us should follow suit.
Featured image: Daniel Lumenofsky