While Summer was googling her heart out trying to decide what touristy things we should do in Miraflores, she came across a park in the city that is home to 80+ cats. We decided that this cat infested park was worth checking out and honestly thought our friend Bonnie would love a post dedicated to these fury felines.
We took off walking Saturday morning to explore this park and snap a few pics. When we got there I expected to be overrun by cats, but honestly I was not even sure we had come to the right place.
The park had a kids play structure that was full of children laughing and playing, and vendors selling popcorn, ice cream, and other miscellaneous wares. I did not however see any cats. That was until we got passed the area where the kids were playing. Then we started noticing cats sleeping all over the place.
Parque Kennedy (Kennedy Park) named after JFK is in the heart of Miraflores about a 45 minute walk from our Airbnb room. The area around the park is under construction with all kinds of noise, but the cats don’t seem to mind at all. Apparently about 20 cats showed up over 20 years ago and grew in population till they hit around 80 strong. There is a group of about 15 local residents that collect money from neighbors and feed the cats. They also catch 2 or 3 of them each week, and take them to a local vet to be given any care they are in need of like being vaccinated, de-wormed, neutered, etc. Once they recover from any treatment, they are brought back to the park and released. The park is also cleaned twice each day to remove any fecal matter and sterilize any surfaces with pet friendly cleaners. There are 2 security guards posted there each day to keep the area safe and to keep people from abandoning more cats there as the population is already so high. For as many cats as there are, I was surprised to not see much in the way of fecal matter. In fact I could not see any until I wandered off into the grass to try to get some pictures and videos.
Once we got into the middle of the park we really started noticing the cats were everywhere. One of the park’s security officers even pointed out a tree to us where there were 3 cats up in it sleeping or just hanging out. I would assume that we saw around 40 cats while we were there. I am sure there were more of them, but some of them are hard to spot when curled up around, or in trees. Most of these cats are eager to be petted and will even come running over to brush up on you. I assume they are mainly hoping you will feed them, but they will take what ever attention you are willing to give them.
In the back of the park I found a group of cats that were sleeping. As I approached to take a video of them, they woke up and started incessantly cleaning
We decided to try out the public restroom in the park before leaving. On our way to the restrooms we saw a kid walking his dog in the park. The dog was going crazy trying to rip the leash from the kid’s hand to give chase to the cats. There was so much barking and tugging as it pulled the kid around. For a while, I was not sure who was going to win but the kid finally managed to get it under control. I am sure this kid also uses a magnifying glass on ants just to watch them squirm.
This was our first public restroom experience on our trip. It came with the whole package deal; no toilet seat, no TP, no soap, and no way to dry your hands. Now you see the no soap and no way to dry your hands in some public restrooms in the US. I can even understand the no TP from a cost perspective. What I can not wrap my head around is the no toilet seat. Are they afraid that someone is going to steal it? Are they trying to make sure you don’t get to comfortable in there in an effort to make sure a line doesn’t form? It is not like they have to worry about cleaning the seat as they don’t seem to mind leaving the bowl in horrendous condition. The great thing about this place is that there was no one even around selling TP. If you did not have any with you, you would just have to wash-up and launder your clothes when you get home and apply ointment to any bad chafing.