Last time I was here (4 years ago), this town was teeming with feral cats. Scrawny, hungry, yowly little critters who seemed to live in every public nook and cranny–under cars, behind garbage dumps, all over the Old City. I wrote a character (in a novel that never quite got off the ground) who was obsessed with caring for these poor beasts–the epitome of Sysiphusian undertakings.
This time ’round, I’ve definitely seen plenty of them (some are howling outside my window as I write this), but there isn’t the same sense of overwhelm as there was last time. There are definitely fewer.
Validating this is the graffiti I found the other day (above), which asks, “Where did the cats go?” I have a sneaking (and somewhat chilling) suspicion that they’ve been “put” in the same “place” that Giuliani “put” all the homeless people of New York.