A cat lover’s guide to Cartagena

“Need to go.  We’re heading out to see a mass feeding of all the stray cats in a local plaza.”

Yes, that is an actual message that Jen sent to a friend while chatting online and yes, the event is completely genuine.

Like many seaside towns, in Cartagena, Colombia, there are tons of street cats.  You only see them in the morning or in the evening – otherwise it’s too hot and they are way too smart to be wandering the streets in the sun.  However, many of these cats are quite mingy – so mingy that even Jen wouldn’t try to touch them.  Not that they would let her – most street cats would run away once you were a few feet from them anyways.


Jen still wants to help them.  So to her joy, on our last day in this great city, we hear that in Plazoleta Joe Arroyo (not far from old town), there is a nightly ritual where older ladies feed all the local stray cats.  Well now we have our pre-dinner plans!

Erwan brings beers; Jen brings her camera.  Jen also speed walks to the plaza, as she’s concerned she’s late and will miss the spectacle.  Fortunately, nothing has gone down once she arrives.

In fact, not much was going on in the plaza, so at first, Jen thought she maybe got the wrong place.  However, in one corner, she saw a few cats congregating – as much as cats do congregate.


As per usual for strays in this town, not many wanted anything to do with Jen (although a few would stare her down).

Thus, she picked a nearby bench, hoped that this was the place and opened some beers.  Within minutes of opening the beers, a woman came and said “hola”.  Not only did all the cats present run to her, but others came out of nowhere to greet her as well.  Yay, we were in the right place!


Feeding time began!

Besides taking photos, Jen got to help by breaking up mini spats and making sure the two kittens got fed.  She also learned from the feeding lady some of the cats’ names and which one was sick (Nina, who got special food).  And all the cats suddenly liked Jen!  Or at least tolerated her. . .

Even Erwan was smitten with the little ones. . .

Twenty minutes, more than 100 photos for Jen and 2 beers for Erwan later, the cats started going their own way to sleep their feast off.  How fun was that?!

In response to the beginning statement, Jen’s friend asked “is there anything you’re doing on this trip that doesn’t involve cats?”

Not if we can help it. . .

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