03 February 2012
Update on the Street Cats Old Tbilisi book
# I wrote a new text about my book which is now included
About Street Cats Old Tbilisi
I often like to think about time and fortune, how is it that we happen to live in this time period of history and not 240 years before or 125 years after?
Living in Tbilisi's Old Town after my years in Berlin, Dresden, Amsterdam and Samarkand I feel that time here is not of big importance as the core of Tbilisi life has not changed very much. But then again in many ways it has. Where have the water boys gone? Where are the traders, the camels, the caravans, the turbans?
Still, here we have deep religious reverence, the narrow streets, the broken roofs, poor, old, grand ladies multilingual in the colors of mixed nationalities. We see the traditional Jews coming back with their hats and beards, we see the beggars and the children of the ancient Romani people strolling down Leselidze Street. We have sulphur baths, Armenians, Arabian traces. We have drinking artists, the cheap Khinkali places, Narikala fortress and the mother of Georgia watching over it all.
How have all these cats survived through the centuries when most people in the Caucasus (except the Russians) say, they don't like them? Are they street cats indeed or just cats outside their homes?
I see them enthroned on the waste bins or elegantly asking for attention. They are whizzing around corners, jumping onto fences. But people also care, like Natela, who comes each day to bring some food and create a small family of man and animal. It's social. She gives them names, Mohrle, Teifi, Kolya, Sira, Edith, Digga.
Do you see he lost an eye, ear, tail, leg? Do you see these colors? That blue gray with red speckles. They must be made for painters and photographers to catch them jumping from roof to roof. Some look mean, but are not and some look mean and are in their fight for survival. I hear them crying and fighting on my roof.
To see the life of the cats makes me feel happy and free. Their existence is so multifaceted, crystallized in our hyper realities. The more realities we encompass the richer we are. We split the time frame.
Tbilisi, January 29, 2012