It is, honestly.
We visited Riga for the Spring Bank Holiday and while there, we saw lots of souvenirs covered in cats, cats on roofs, cat houses, cat cafes and even cat statues.
Not that I’m cat crazy (I am definitely more a dog person), but we have 3 cats between us; Robyn, Rio and Riley. They’re all a year old now and they cause absolute trouble in our house. Being said though, they do like to keep us company, even if that means miaowing through my bedroom door at 3am.
The most famous cat in Riga, is the black cat which you can see in my main image.
These are arched black cat statues that are placed on the turrets of a lovely home in the centre of [now] Old Riga.
So there are 2 stories to the Black Cat of Riga. One version of the legend has it that the wealthy tradesman who commissioned the building was refused membership of the Riga’s Great Guild. The other version has it that the same wealthy tradesman placed the two angry cat statues on the building turret rooftops with their tails towards the Riga Town Hall, following a dispute with Riga City Council. The Riga Town Hall at the time was in the same direction as the Great Guild.
Anyway, both versions saw that the wealthy trademan who was seeking retribution had two copper statues of angry cats, complete with arched backs and raised tails placed, on the turret rooftops with their tails turned towards the Great Guild.
But it’s more than just this.
Riga has a problem with stray cats, as does any city but being in the Baltic, it can be a health risky to our cuddly furry friends. Until Cat Care Community came along.
Back in 2015, the guys and gals at Cat Care Community came up with a great idea. Homing and rehabilitating stray cats can be a problem, but so is getting them spayed, neutered as well as maintaining their care. So they started a little system where they’d make little wooden houses for the cats to stay in. These houses are scattered all over the city.
Businesses, hostels and B&Bs have all gotten in on the act, and they’re well used. Food is added frequently and some have little windows so you can see what the visitors are up to. We found 2 ‘cat hostels’ on our travels around Riga and thought it was a great idea for an alternative way of care, but there are 80 of these hostels around the city. See if you can spot them when you go to Riga.
It also means any injured cats or newborn furballs can be collected, checked by a vet and rehomed with people all across Riga. You can read more about their amazing work here.
Currently, everything they do is funded by donations or businesses supporting their cause by making houses, so you’re welcome to visit their Facebook page to make a donation. It doesn’t matter how big or small. It all helps these furballs stay warm in the colder months and make city living better for them in the long term.