IN PHOTOS: The Cats of Tel Aviv

In honor of International Cat Day 2018, Haaretz celebrates the street cat

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Cats are the most divisive of companions. Do our cats love us? Are we, to them, merely warm furniture with can-opening appendages? Did we domesticate them, or did they domesticate us? Are they even domesticated?

Good questions all, but August 8, International Cat Day, is an opportunity to shrug off all questions about their affections and simply appreciate the slinking wonder that is cat, whether sitting on your keyboard or thronging the streets of Israel, where they are amply cared for by people who have seen the light.

Cats living next to the port in Tel Aviv.
Cats living next to the port in Tel Aviv.Credit: Natasha Novikov
A cat living by the sea in Tel Aviv.
A cat living by the sea in Tel Aviv.Credit: Natasha Novikov

Then there's the other end of the rainbow, occupied by the unenlightened, who feel that their fellow Israelis who feed street cats are encouraging mainly filth and cockroaches. Asked for comment on the meaning of International Cat Day to him, a non-cattist didn't blink: "Humanity is stupid." Hmm? "To invent things like day of the cat," he elaborated. "It's shocking."

So in honor of the occasion, here are 22 pictures of Israeli cats. Enjoy.

A curious street cat in Jaffa.
A curious street cat in Jaffa. Credit: Avshalom Halutz
A lonely cat is watching a woman jogging on Tel Aviv's promenade.
A lonely cat is watching a woman jogging on Tel Aviv's promenade. Credit: David Bachar
A hungry street kitten in Jaffa. She has nice human neighbors.
A hungry street kitten in Jaffa. She has nice human neighbors.Credit: Avshalom Halutz
You can find cats everywhere you look in Tel Aviv. Please treat them kindly.
You can find cats everywhere you look in Tel Aviv. Please treat them kindly. Credit: David Bachar
In order to survive on the street, cats need people to provide them fresh water and food on a daily basis. In this photo, a cat is sitting opposite the David Intercontinental hotel in Tel Aviv.
In order to survive on the street, cats need people to provide them fresh water and food on a daily basis. In this photo, a cat is sitting opposite the David Intercontinental hotel in Tel Aviv. Credit: David Bachar
Cat and dog in Tel Aviv.
Cat and dog in Tel Aviv.Credit: David Bachar
A black cat trying to survive at Tel Aviv's port.
A black cat trying to survive at Tel Aviv's port.Credit: Natasha Novikov
Check out this Israeli Sphynx cat.
Check out this Israeli Sphynx cat.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Street life is hard, even for the most resilient of cats.
Street life is hard, even for the most resilient of cats.Credit: Oren Ziv
A Tel Avivian street cat reacts to a paparazi photographer.
A Tel Avivian street cat reacts to a paparazi photographer.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
A scared cat is clinging on to their owner.
A scared cat is clinging on to their owner. Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Cats about to be vaccinated, in Tel Aviv.
Cats about to be vaccinated, in Tel Aviv. Credit: Gil Eliahu
A catty queen: A street cat in her dressing room.
A catty queen: A street cat in her dressing room.Credit: Avshalom Halutz
Get me out of here!
Get me out of here!Credit: David Bachar
A beautiful white cat is enjoying the view, on top of a garbage bin.
A beautiful white cat is enjoying the view, on top of a garbage bin.Credit: David Bachar
A tough ginger Tel Avivian.
A tough ginger Tel Avivian.Credit: Ruth Schuster
It's lunch time! Street cats are lucky to have a nice neighbor who takes care of them.
It's lunch time! Street cats are lucky to have a nice neighbor who takes care of them.Credit: \ Eliyahu Hershkovitz
This friendly cat likes to hop on top of cars just as people are about to drive.
This friendly cat likes to hop on top of cars just as people are about to drive.Credit: Avshalom Halutz
A super cat is showing off his flying skills.
A super cat is showing off his flying skills.Credit: Nir Keidar
Play safe outside, Alfie!
Play safe outside, Alfie!Credit: Avshalom Halutz
Last but not least, this is Felix, the cat that lives outside the Haaretz offices.
Last but not least, this is Felix, the cat that lives outside the Haaretz offices. Credit: Avshalom Halutz

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