Furry Felines in Riga

Nice kitty
 If you're a cat lover, you'll probably feel at home in Riga. Cats seem to roam the city whenever I go out walking. I'm not a cat-lover, but I'm sure that if you are one, you'd love it.

Last winter when we moved here, I remember seeing cats sit on the hoods of black cars parked near our flat. At the time, I didn't think much of it, but I bet that the hoods were warm yet, hence the perfect spot to take a nap.
Wandering the streets

Hiding in plain sight
The cats don't appear to be the wild type, afraid of people. I've seen tourists walk up to them and start petting them and even pick them up. I'm not sure if they are owned by people and roam during the day, or if they are just city cats in general. They certainly look like they are well-fed.

The most famous cat-related thing in Riga, however, is a building that is known as the "Cat House." This particular building has a very interesting story connected with it.
Cat House

This building was built in the early 20th Century by a wealthy Latvian merchant. The legend around this building portrays a man who wanted to join the Great Guild in Riga which was run by the German traders. The Germans refused him membership in the guild, so the Latvian merchant plotted his revenge.

Cat on a pinnacle
When he built his house across the street from the Great Guild Hall, he had two copper statues formed of angry cats with their arched backs and tails up. He had the two cat statues installed with their tails pointed at the Guild Hall to show his displeasure at their decision.

The legend goes on to say that the guild was so upset by having the cat butts pointed their direction that they took the man to court. The court's final decision was that if the merchant would turn the cat sculptures around so that the cats faced the Guild Hall, he would be allowed to join the Great Guild of Riga.
Tail pointed away from the Guild Hall

To this day, this building is still known for the two cats sitting on the front corners of the building. Tourists are told this story over and over again.

If only all of our political squabbles could be solved so easily.

Information taken from Story of Riga Black Cat House


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