Cats of Cairo

Cats of Cairo : Egypt's Enduring Legacy

Introduction by Annemarie Schimmel , Photographs by Lorraine Chittock , By (author) Lorraine Chittock

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Far from being pampered house cats, these feisty creatures roam freely through the streets of Cairo. They were so beloved in ancient days that they were portrayed in statues and, upon the death of a cat, a lavish funeral was held. According to folk tradition, the prophet Muhammad cut off his coat sleeve because he had to stand up for prayer and did not want to disturb his cat who was napping on his sleeve. Today, as the photographs display, the mystique of the cat lives on. During her seven-year stay in Cairo, Lorraine Chittock pursued cats throughout the city, taking intimate portraits of these wary inhabitants. She portrays their lunar eyes coolly scanning the relentless bustle around them and their long bodies slinking through souks and down alleys. The intriguing images and the fascinating introduction and quotes paired with them trace the timeless bond between people and cats in Cairo revealing the rhythm of life there, its joys, sorrows, and deep sense of religion. This is the quintessential cat book, featuring the quintessential cat.

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  • Hardback | 96 pages
  • 231.14 x 236.22 x 20.32mm | 725.74g
  • 26 Apr 2001
  • Abbeville Press Inc.,U.S.
  • New York
  • English
  • 70 colour illustrations
  • 0789207079
  • 9780789207074

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Author Information

Lorraine Chittock is a photojournalist, who was born in California and eventually moved to Kenya with one cat, two ducks, and her husband Her previous book is Shadows in the Sand-Following the Forty Days Road. Annemarie Schimmel is a distinguished professor of Middle Eastern studies. She is the author of many works in English and German, including The Mystique of the Oriental Cat.

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Review quote

"Cairo Cats celebrates the furry creatures, capturing them in flattering poses all over town... Lovingly designed." - Egypt Today"

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