I live in an unusually quiet neighborhood , but for the two stray dogs who hang out in the vacant lot, just above my apartment. They bark at odd moments, and sometimes all night. But unlike some parts of this country, stray dogs are not a common sight. It is the ever present stray cats that one sees everywhere. I see them hanging out by dumpsters, and sometimes sitting on garbage in the dumpsters. They collect in small groups of three or four. These once beautiful cats are rendered dirty and malnourished by the diet of garbage, and random food given by people. A few cats in the old city look lush, flush with treats from restaurants. They all suffer from lack of attention. In my block, there are four cats who make regular rounds: orange, black, grey and white cat. They stalk around the same territory, hiding under construction leftovers during heavy rains.
A number of people have dogs, which they walk at certain times of the night, gathering near the park and near the University to meet and greet and watch their dogs play. But birds are also common. I saw one man carrying an empty cage down the street. You can easily buy bird cages in shops that also sell gardening equipment and seeds. There is even a bird feeder in my yard.
But when I think of Mostar, I think of the cats who wait patiently outside restaurants, the very plump stray cat with three legs, the ragged dirty white cat near the dumpster by my house, and the many skittish cats darting under cars to escape people, cars, and dogs.