Cats of Colombia y Otras Cosas
I’ve been an animal lover my entire life. Whenever I travel one of my favorite things is being around animals, hell I’ve even made a career of it. However, like much of the world aside from the U.S., Latin America has very different standards when it comes to animal welfare. In Colombia dogs and cats, full of mange with distended bellies (likely due to worms) roam the streets. Because of my natural gravity toward furry creatures I constantly try to get as close as I can to them, often petting their mangey heads before enjoying a meal I eat with my unwashed hands. I began photographing the cats of Colombia, because I thought it had a nice ring to it. Plus cats are funny creatures, there is so much hype around dogs (Almost every dog has its own Instagram account) but what about these sassy little felines? Check out some of my favorites below. Don’t worry I’ve included dogs too, because well duh, they’re still my favorite.
Santa Marta pup (Brett- lots of Anna look alikes here)
|Apparently the only "breed" of Colombian dog left, I thought it was a beagle/bassett hound|
|One Daniela's neighbors pups|
San Pedro dog gang
|The mula and I in San Pedro|
|We've seen this pup following some bikers up the mountain and down at a waterfall in Minca, 25-27 km below where we first saw him!|
Pocos de los Perros
Lucas – Lucas was a dog in San Lorenzo, he loved Pablo (San Lorenzo field station manager). He would just sink into pure doggy bliss when Pablo rubbed his ears. Lucas tried to bite me, despite me feeding him cheese. He was extremely scared of new people and very distrusting. It was my mistake to think I could maybe pet him when he snapped. Here’s the only picture I snapped of him.
Roger - Roger is Daniela’s abuelas dog. He is a feisty little guy and loved everyone the minute we came in to the house. He definitely has loads of fleas.
Leon- Leon is Roberto’s dog and best friend. He is just two years old but has lived a life harder than most dogs four times his age. He is also very timid and starving, which makes for an uncomfortable match. Initially he would growl at us after we tossed him food because he wanted more. He hardly took his tail, which had an open wound on the end of it, out from beneath his legs. He even killed a skunk and Roberto hung it on a tree outside the finca because he didn’t know what to do with it. Thus the entire time we were there Leon smelled like skunk. Leon would come when called and let you rub his ears and face, he was a sweet thing, and I imagine with a bit of food would be a completely pleasant pup. *sidenote along with having no bathrooms/showers/places to wash hands well for 3 days I now smelled like skunk too.
Adventure cat- Adventure cat came with us down to the waterfall. AC rides on your shoulder and backpack. AC is a cat-dog. I like AC.
These three giant pastor aleman or German Shepards guard one of the local finca’s. They seem to be outside the gate quite frequently and are not huge, young, strong, and not well-trained or socialized. Daniela and I, both animal lovers, talked gently to the dogs that were barking at us (coo-ing with hola’s). Eventually they came over and wagged their tails while we pet them. They attempted a few playful nips (a playful nip for a german shepard could literally take your arm off), while we tried to calm them so we could pass. After a few minutes the owner rode up on his motorbike and asked in Spanish if the dog had bitten us. Seriously?! He then shoo-ed the dogs back down to their finca. We’ve come across these dogs twice now, this one pictured – the largest and most playful looks most wolf-like. Hence the Twilight reference (If you don’t get it, you’re amongst the lucky ones, terrible book series).
*I encourage those of you thinking about getting a pet to look at your local shelter. There are a lot of loving creatures waiting to find their best friend, just like Roberto and Leon.