14 August, 2006

Animal tragic

It's taken me a while to notice, but there are precisely zero domestic animals anywhere in this borough of London. Not one. There are no cats, no dogs, no - so far as I can tell - budgies or cockatoos or any other fowl perching from people's windows, nothing. No pets whatsoever.

This, for a city that supposedly boasts the most number of cat owners in Europe, seems preposterous. It's also pitiful.

In Liverpool I lived next to a house owned by an elderly couple who boasted not just a dog but two cats who would, without fail, saunter past my living room window every day, and who were two of the two cutest felines you've ever seen. Once they even tried to climb in through my window.

No such luck here. I haven't seen one cat since I moved to London. Just consider that sentence for a moment. Not one cat. And that hasn't been through choice, or through being cooped up indoors in my flat the whole time. Quite the reverse, as my ongoing treks through the city's suburbs have hopefully made clear.

It's not like I'm living in a bustling, high-rise, car-dominated area. And it's not that I'm living amongst folk who, for want of a better phrase, don't look like pet-lovers. So how come I haven't seen any cats mooching around the place, nor dogs being taken for a walk?

Now that I've realised there aren't any to be seen, I'm missing seeing them more than I did when I hadn't noticed. It's as puzzling as it is regrettable. Losing the sound of the birds was one thing, I was expecting that. But seeing such a total disappearance of animal life is very depressing. It renders the outside world defiantly, uniformly, humanoid. There appears to be no room for anything else except people.

The sight of a cat going about its business isn't too much to ask? Is it?


Post a Comment

<< Home