Muhammad, prophet of Allah, surrounded himself with cats and doted on his favorite, Muezza. The story goes that, one day, Mohammad woke up for the dawn call to prayer, and found Muezza asleep on the sleeve of his robe. Rather than disturb his pet, Muhammad cut off his sleeve, and went on his way. When he came home later, Muezza bowed in gratitude. The prophet stroked Muezza three times, thereby granting her nine lives and the ability to land on her feet. Muhammad was known to give sermons with a cat in his lap, and to share a food and water dish with Muezza. Another story claims a cat saved him from being attacked by a snake.
What Can Travelers Do to Help Marrakech’s Street Cats?
The stray cats of Marrakech range from the well-fed and fairly content to the scraggly, sick, and malnourished. There are several ways that impassioned animal-lovers can get involved to help the street cats of Marrakech.
Donate Money or Food to SPANA
Spana is an international animal welfare charity with a presence in Marrakech. They treat, rescue, and care for stray cats and dogs as well as working animals like donkeys, mules, and horses. They also campaign for better treatment of and conditions for working animals. They also offer affordable veterinary treatment for pet owners who have a low income. Additionally, SPANA runs adoption programs for rescued cats (and dogs), helping the animals to find loving homes. While most tourists wouldn’t want to actually adopt an animal, donating money helps SPANA to continue its vital work. Donating animal food helps to free up resources to be used for other essential work, such as vaccinating, spaying, treating for fleas and worms, and campaigning.