Cats in Riga


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 For years cats have been enjoying the love of Latvian people. In Riga you can see metal cat statues in many places, including the rooftop of the famous tenement house “under two cats”. In the Old Town there are many shops offering cat-themed souvenirs, from fridge magnets (with cats sprinkled with amber) to linen bags with cat pictures. But where did these cats come from? According to legend, a rich merchant named Bloemer, who was disappointed with the fact he couldn’t join the against of the city guild, he came up with a revenge. He ordered black cat statues with cambered backs and put them on the towers of his tenement house. These cats had tails raised straight to the windows of the leader of Riga’s town guild. Because of that the government sued Bloemer, but the courts that he corrupted had to redeem the following procedures. No one was brave enough to force Bloemer to turn the casts’ faces to the town’s buildings. The judges have explained, that it’s because cats as animals can choose any pose they like and there’s nothing to do with it. What’s more, without the cats, Riga could lose its splendor. Superstition? Ha, it’s too risky to fight superstitions – say the corruptible judges. It might be a legend, but you can’t deny the fact, that cats are an important part of the town, whether they appear on the buildings’ rooftops, or in real life. The second peculiar animal attraction in Riga is… the beaver. There are 38 such cuddly animals living in the water channels on the outskirts of the Old Town.


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