No Country For Old Men And Dogs


Well this morning was quite cold and yesterday we got a bit of snow, which reminds us all that winter isn’t quite over with yet. And it made me want to tell a small tale from my own daily adventures.

For the last two months I’ve been waking up long before dawn and “commuting” on foot to another part of the city. Despite the cold and the darkness, I always love to see another face of my city, one that’s often hidden, where there are almost no people out and about, no cars and almost no noise. On these same streets in a few hours time there is the hustle and bustle of modern life with motors and conversations but for a short time there is only silence. Even the birds are riding out the bitter winds, high up on the bare branches of the trees.

During the day, the dogs resume their positions, patrolling yards, staked out on street corners, walking on leashes with their owners. But if you get up early enough, these dogs are nowhere to seen. And for a very brief period of time, a secret population makes its appearance, one that you only see rarely, if at all, during the day.

I can’t speak for all of Romania but Cluj-Napoca is full of cats. It takes me about 45 minutes to get where I am going and I often see 10, 15, 20 cats or more along my journey, silently gliding through the pre-dawn hours, stalking the streets that for a brief period of time belong entirely to them.

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