Living in Kotagede is a cat lover’s dream. Cats seem to pop up everywhere, whether staring down at you from a roof or dashing away down an alley while walking to the Program House. My street is home to a group of around half a dozen cats who always sunbathe, sleep, or hang out (nonkrong) together. I like to refer to them as the “Warrior Gang”, inspired by one of my favorite fantasy series as a child, Warriors, about clans of cats fighting dark forces and chasing prophecies. These cats provide an impromptu soundtrack to my evening, interjecting the occasional meow or growl into my family’s all-time favorite sinetron, or Indonesian soap opera, Cinta Yang Hilang. Sometimes one of them will stop by when we leave our door open, sneaking in to try and catch a mouse or beg for some fish. This is not always a welcomed visit; I must admit that it’s a little frightening to walk out of the bathroom after showering only to find an unknown cat glaring at me from right outside the door.
The “Warrior Gang” is only a small branch of the cat community that I have had the pleasure of exploring here in Kotagede. Recently I’ve been finding myself stopping by Ashley’s house often, as it is home to 5 (!) cats, 2 adults and 3 kittens. Her kittens are just now reaching the “terrible twos” stage of kittenhood; they love climbing on everything, scratching whatever they can find, whether that be a sofa or my arm, and love sticking their noses in places where they definitely shouldn’t be. Their mom is extremely affectionate, and will always let me pet her while she watches her kids skid around the house.
Attached are a few captures of cats that have been patient enough to let me photograph them: 2 cats that sleep at SAPDA’s office, Ashley’s kittens in a flower pot, Ashley’s kittens trying to escape while I attempted to take a selfie with them, and Mama cat.