Title: Guardians of the Tomb
Location: Marrakech, Morocco
Available Sizes: 4”x6”, 5”x7”, 8”x10”, 8”x12”,
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Please note that different print sizes may result in slightly different croppings for this photo.
Don't misunderstand, we love dogs. Dogs are affectionate and loyal, as most people will tell you. But we think cats have an undeserved nasty reputation. Perhaps people dislike cats because they are inscrutable, forever guarding some secret only they know. This picture was taken in the Saadian Tombs, the resting place of the Saadi dynasty, which ruled in the region around Marrakech between the 1500s-1600s. The tombs faded out of human memory in the years that followed and were not rediscovered until the early 1900s. The Saadian Tombs are a beautiful place in the early morning, understated, silent, before the clouds of tour groups sweep in with the lightening flashes of their cameras. We found ourselves there on one such morning, while the sun was still limpid and the desert air still soft. The place was empty save for us, the numerous cats darting about, and of course, the earthly remains of the sultan Ahmad I al-Mansur Saadi and a few hundred of his closest family members and friends. As we walked amidst the tombs, we noticed these two kittens—improbably clean, well-nourished, stray kittens—pacing the perimeter of one of the tombs. We like to think of those cats as the guardians of the tombs, and in the many centuries when the tombs were “lost” to the world, the only companions of the once illustrious Saadi royalty who lay forgotten in their beds of marble. The tombs were the secret of the cats in Marrakech. It makes you wonder what else they know.