Saturday, January 06, 2007

Melbourne: Part 2

As promised, here's the second and final installment in Kate's report on cat culture in Melbourne. The first report centred on cat tributes in the Melbourne CBD, and I mentioned that there weren't many live cats to be found there. Well, Kate did find some real live (and mighty cute) cats in the CBD. Unfortunately, they were in a pet shop in the Melbourne Central shopping centre. Check them out:
Cute stuff indeed. Now there's nothing wrong with being a pet shop cat. I've got nothing against pet shop cats (some of my best friends are pet shop cats), and I know that pet shops have smartened up their act in the past few years as far as animal welfare is concerned, but I still think it SUCKS that pet shops are allowed to make money outta selling cats and dogs when there are SO many abandoned and stray animals who need a home and someone to love them. If I was Kate, I would have busted those kittens outta there and spent the rest of my Melbourne holiday finding good homes for them. But that's just me.

I was hoping that Kate would be able to take a heap of photos of suburban Melbourne cats doing their thing on the streets and in their front yards, but according to Kate, they were quite elusive (either that, or she couldn't be bothered chasing cats for her whole holiday). Apparently Melbourne cats value their privacy and aren't as forthcoming as your typical Hobart cat. She did manage to snap this old timer while he was trying to evade her lens in the suburb of Kensington:
(That human on the left is Kate's friend Sarah. Hi, Sarah!)

But by far Kate's coolest live cat discovery in Melbourne (and props to Aunty Trakka for telling her about it) was Toto:
Yes, I know that Toto is traditionally a dog's name, but I guess his houseperson decided to reclaim the name for cats. Toto is a shopcat, which means that he works in his houseperson's shop. I've heard of shopcats and officecats before, but this is my first photographic evidence that they really exist. I think it's a great idea. Cats add style and sophistication to any retail establishment. I think that more shops should have cats on their payroll. It would help to attract the Right Sort of Customer (as long as the cats are appropriately remunerated!). But I don't think I'd be very good at it. I don't like strangers...

Anyway, Toto helps out at a shop called Paper Indulgence, on Victoria Street in Brunswick West:

It's a specialty paper shop, and Kate said that it sells all kinds of pretty paper (again, I'd be no good in a paper shop, because I chew paper).

Apart from looking attractive, Toto's main job is security:

Toto can often be found sniffing around people's bags to check for dangerous (or tasty) objects, and sniffing the carpet to find out who's been in the shop. He's always on the move, is Toto. That's why Kate didn't get a decent headshot of him (or maybe it's that paranoid Melbourne feline privacy thing again?).

Pablo Enterprises salutes Toto, a true hero of the feline world, for his contribution to human-feline relations... and he doesn't even chew paper!



Anonymous said...

Pabs, you are an excellent reporter and should file your report on the Cat Blogosphere for all cats to read as they are always looking for good reporters(you can find the linky on my page if you're interested). Thank you for this interesting and informative article and keep up the good work. Purrs Faz.

Anonymous said...

Pabs, I had a look and saw that you are a reporter on the Blogosphere - I am dead impressed! Keep up the journalistic side of your career and as it's Friday today have a great weekend. FAZ

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the interesting information about cats from around the world. Seeing as Phoebe and I don't get to travel much, it is interesting to read about the cultural differences. And the profile on Toto was tops. Impressive though Toto may be, he can't outshine you, Pablo.