I have spoken before about the absolute collapse in visitors to the Sinai Peninsula following the turmoil of the Arab Spring and the emergence of Islamic militant groups in the area.
During the visit of The Velvet Rocket staff to explore this increase in activity on the part of Islamic militants, we were given to contemplating the ripple effects of this collapse in visitors – particularly at breakfast and dinner:
Consider the cats of the Sinai… Already leading a difficult existence, the cats of the Sinai are extremely dependent upon the generosity of visitors to feed them the leftovers off of their plates.
No visitors = no food for the cats.
The hotel staffs (to their great credit) do what they can, but the hotels can only be so generous with their food as they are already in extreme financial distress due to the complete absence of any guests (aside from us).
The Ciao Hotel where we based ourselves for a while… I cannot say enough positive things about the staff at this establishment:
But, again, it comes back to visitors sharing the food off of their plates.
A typical dinner for me… A lot went to the cats:
These cats became very familiar faces to us during our stay at the hotel and I soon had names for all of them and learned their personalities. I did what I could for them and, as a result, went to bed hungry a couple of nights. But, I could only do so much… At least the cats did not go hungry on those days that we were there and I hope that brought them some measure of happiness, even if just for a little while:
Actions always have consequences. Sometimes the consequences are unexpected, or barely noticeable in the broader affairs of humanity, but the consequences are always present. And I can assure you that the hungry cats of the Sinai have noticed.