Sadface will get up when he is ready

Sadface and his Zamyad

The Zamyad 24 is a light pick up truck made in Iran by Saipa. It is based on the last Nissan Junior from the early 1980s, but with some modifications and improved engines. We don’t have an exact equivalent in the United Kingdom, but in purpose and functionality it might be considered the Ford Transit of Iran. It’s a workhorse which one often sees overloaded with goods of every kind.

The Zamyad seen below, photographed on several different days, was often parked near where Sadface lived. I became acquainted with the driver and he was benevolent towards all the cats. The road is on quite a steep hill, hence the usual practice of using a brick as a chock.

Sadface claimed this Zamyad as his own. He would sit on top of it watching the world go by, and I know he also watched in anticipation of me bringing food. I tried a few times to outmanoeuvre him, taking a circuitous route and arriving from the opposite direction. I was never successful – he always spotted me before I could get close.

Sometimes Sadface would come running towards me, other times he would just sit there watching me, and other times still he would stand up to greet me. I had seen other people feeding the cats, and the usual detritus associated with takeaway food was evident. Perhaps that is why Sadface and Cyclops sometimes seemed a little aloof. But Sadface and Cyclops were always very friendly.

In this series of photographs, Sadface’s development is obvious. The days of him being a skinny, malnourished cat are in his past. He is of much healthier appearance, like a normal cat, and without any obvious signs of illness. Though he is still a bit grubby.

In the spring, summer, and autumn months in Tehran a cat should be able to live outside without any significant problems – provided they have food and water. The temperature at night is not too cold, and in summer it is still rather hot.

Winter is a different kettle of fish. In brief, it is cold and it snows. Cats have a hard time living outside in these conditions. I was unable to bring him into the building where I was living. My daily feeding excursions had been noticed. I learned from a passer-by that Sadface gained access to a block of flats and was sleeping outside their door from time to time. They made sure he had some water. And they knew Sadface was my special cat.

I was heartened and comforted by this. I knew that Sadface was having a hard time, but that he did at least sometimes manage to find somewhere to stay.

About the author: Sadface