May 14th, 2014


The victory temples of old stand a solitary vigil in the midst of a modern city that pays them little heed. Four temples, fallen to ruin and decay, walled in by tram lines, bus stops, towering shops, and a never ending flow of people. They once were celebrations of victory, temples dedicated to the gods that the Romans believed helped them gain victory, their remnants lie about the enclosure like an architecture bone yard of the ancients.

The only beings that set foot down there, the ones who have come to call this place their home, are the guardians of the temples, the abandoned felines that prowl the ruins. Victory temples turned cat sanctuary, these guardians of the past watch over what has been left behind after the decay of time set it’s claws into the crumbling facade of victory. These are creatures of desperation, creatures of hardship, vigilance and wariness. They watch from below, or from the pedestals where once figures of gods stood. They are the gods of this place now.

Brutalized by a city that does not want them, these mangled guardians slowly wander the overgrown ruins. Some with tails cut off, others with injuries that have left them limping, some missing body parts, and many left with a mean or bitter temperament towards the humans that must have abandoned them and left them to the streets of the city to survive. But others are kind guardians, their fur intact and a kind demeanor towards the few humans who visit them in their sanctuary.

I have sat and watched these mangled guardians, the battle scarred, the age torn, and the arched back hissing of two cats ill at ease and clawing for a fight. They are gods in their own right. Warriors of a city that have no place for them within its walls, but here, here in Largo Argentina, at the victory temples of old, they are guardians if not gods. A land of their own for them to sun bathe in, be fed by generous humans, fighting for the right of their land, and wander for endless hours amidst the decay of human ruins. Part of me wonders if they take a strange pleasure in being amidst the ruins of human activity, if they feel like lords of that which the humans failed to preserve. Forsaken by man, taken up by animals, it seems like the order of the world at hand.

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