At about this time last year, a very large and extremely friendly house cat found himself alone on the streets of Brooklyn.

He could have been abandoned, or he could have slipped out when someone wasn’t looking, I don’t know. Either way, last winter was a brutal one in New York City,  so it is fortunate that this cat found his way to a marina, where he came across a TNR team — an acronym that stands for trap, neuter, release, actions meant to reduce a feral cat population.

He walked up to group,  meowed an introduction, and made it clear he was by no means a feral cat. In this way, he ended up in the care of the excellent people at the Picasso Veterinary Fund, one of the coolest animal charities anywhere.

They introduced me to this goofy but wily survivor of a feline.

We named him Henry, and he is spending this winter in considerably more comfort than he did last year.

I’m bringing all this up because, hello, my name is Alison and I am a cat person. (I greatly prefer this title to “crazy cat lady”. ) This is not an affection that I leave at home when I travel. In reviewing my travel photos from last year, I have noticed that nary a trip passes without me snapping the photo of some cat or another.

I’ve also noticed that I’m not the only person setting up the impromptu feline photography sessions. For instance, many, many people photographed this cat sleeping outside Tedeschi Winery in Maui.  Almost everyone made the joke about him having had a little too much at the tasting room.

 

Cat Sleeping at Maui's Tedeschi Winery

I haven’t read many stories about this phenomenon of travelers photographing strange cats. I realize it’s deeply uncool. I don’t care.

So although there are many reasons to visit the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, I submit that cat people everywhere should not miss Cat Canyon, where you can observe bobcat and ocelot, pictured below. Obviously, these make great additions to any cat photography collection. Even your non-cat-loving friends will admire them.

 

Ocelot at Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

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Alison J. Stein

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