The Cats of Senegal

(Becca here, as Caryn and Austin do not quite agree with me on this point)

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of our time in Senegal presented itself in the form of temptation. That is, the temptation to pet every cat around. In the States, this is of course perfectly normal. People love cats. They're adorable. Who wouldn't want to pet a cat? In Senegal, the story is quite different. Cats are pests to the Senegalese, disgusting, dirty, gross little critters that no one wants to touch. I have received many an odd look from all of the cats that I have pet, be they in the street, outside of the house, at WARC, at my internship, et cetera. I have been warned by many a folk not to touch the cats, as they are dirty and not friendly. I have here photo evidence that proves otherwise.

Garbage Cat

First and foremost is Garbage Cat, so named because he eats garbage. I see him almost every single day on the way to my internship. I haven't tried to pet him, because, you know, garbage, but I say "hello" to him each day. He's a pretty chill fella. I think he's supposed to have white fur but it's hard to tell because he lives in the garbage.


Next is Calumet, a cat we became acquainted with the Petit Cote. The hotel we stayed at had a million cats everywhere, including three adorable kittens and this cool dude. We named him Calumet because he was old and chill, and we had to give him a Michigan Tech-esque name. He joined us for breakfast on our final morning in Petit Cote and the hotel workers were silently judging us. #worthit

Caryn's Cat

Caryn's cat was one of the many kittens at the hotel in Petit Cote. They spent a lovely afternoon in each other's company, soaking up the sun and enjoying the scenic views the hotel had to offer. I may or may not have ruined their fun when I pet the kitten and scared it off. I'm sorry, Caryn.


This is WARC Cat, one of the many cats that hangs out at the WARC. This one in particular is probably the friendliest, and we have hung out many a time. He enjoys crawling around under tables as people eat, staring people down as they eat, and meowing until you pet him. He's extra-friendly because of the frequent number of foreigners at WARC, who all think nothing of petting a cute cat or giving it some scraps.

There are many other cats that run about in Dakar -- these are just the featured few. Were I rich and with plentiful resources, I would be taking at least ten home with me.


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