I love the street cats of Italy, despite the number of wild birds they kill. Today I have a day off in Tivoli. There’s time to walk around the streets before visiting some of the attractions including gardens and fountains. Turning a corner I see the most glorious copper-eyed cat. It’s ginger which means it’s more likely to be a male by 3 to 1:
The eye colour and fur colour of cats are unrelated and produced by separate genes. This one has the most complementary colour scheme possible. Those copper-coloured eyes and that serious face make it a glorious-looking animal. It doesn’t like me being anywhere near it and I’m getting an irritated swish of the tail for my troubles:
It’s got a companion. A black and white cat:
This one has the most incredible blue eyes. It’s also got a large cataract in its left eye:
Blue eyes are fascinating because there’s no blue pigment in them, whether they are cats’ eyes or human’s eyes. Blue eyes are blue for a similar reason that the sky is blue; because of the scattering of light of different wavelengths. That’s why blue eyes can change colour in different light. In this bright Italian light, they are an endlessly bright blue.
Now it’s time for me to see if there are any birds here; that’s if the cats haven’t killed them.