Monday, June 13, 2011

"Ciao, Tigre!" said a man with affection, clearly a local resident intimately familiar with the friendly striped beast before him, as he crouched down to give Tiger a little love. Tiger pranced up to the man excitedly and relished in the attention. That's Tiger in the top shot, sunning himself and his ample amber belly.

Though I only spent about 15 minutes with him, Tiger regarded me as an old friend. Seems he treats everyone like that, locals and visitors alike.

I met him standing at the center of a heavy pedestrian intersection in pretty Portovenere, meowing enthusiastically and physically blocking people's paths in an attempt to get them to slow down and spend some heavy-petting time with him. The absolute sucker for cats that I am, I happily stopped and stayed a while.

Tiger's stone cousin there in the bottom shot is one of the two lovely lions gracing the entrance to San Lorenzo Cathedral in Genoa's enchanting old town. I'd have to compare photos, but I think these San Lorenzo lions look uncannily like the one standing at attention outside the Arsenale in Venice. Both have the identical sad, stressed out countenance, as if they're on the verge of tears. Same sculptor with the odd ability to make stone cats cry?

Location: Liguria, Italy ★

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