Tucked away, unheard of, and surrounded by greenery, lies a pet cemetery in Cairo, Egypt. Located near the Gezira Sporting Club in Zamalek, this is the only known pet cemetery within Cairo. As we take a look 140 years later, heartfelt letters from pet owners can be seen on the gravestones of the pets, enshrining their memory.
The cemetery is a green area, covered with palm trees, plants, and gravestones. It’s a hidden place where pet owners pay tribute to their lost pets. The gravestones are made from marble and some are painted green to blend in with the surrounding greenery. Many pet owners have asked to bury their pets here, filling up the cemetery with little space between each gravestone.
We dig wherever we can find space, no matter how small, for new arrivals. We make sure we don’t dispose of old remains and replace them with newly deceased dogs or cats because of the space problem. We dig deep now, so each spot can take more than just one animal.Said Abdel-Fatah Rabia, Cairo pet cemetery caretaker.
The tombstones are engraved in English, Arabic, and French
“I will never love anyone the way I love you. I will always have you in my heart until I die,” the inscription says.
I was shocked when I first heard that there’s a place especially set aside for dogs and cats to be buried. We struggle to buy a tiny plot of land to bury family and loved ones. When we do, it is far outside the city in the desert. We all think some people have it all, now I am thinking their dogs and cats do too.”Said Mohammed Khalil, a Cairo taxi driver as he drove past Gezira Club.
Showing love and compassion towards stray dogs and cats in the streets of Cairo can be seen often, as people feed and leave them water. In addition, there are many animal protection groups, campaigns to neuter, vaccinate, and adopt stray animals.
I love the cats in our building and how they take our kindness for granted. When I forget to leave them food outside my door, they come and meow incessantly until I do. Believe me, they would ring the doorbell if they could.Said Ibtisam Ahmed, a retired civil servant who lives in Abdeen, where many tenants leave food out and boxes to shelter cats.