The Furballs of Leiden

There’s plenty of familiar faces in the historic center of Leiden. The butcher, the baker and the…yeah, there’s probably a candlestick maker around here somewhere. There’s also plenty of furry faces that are always hanging around. Here’s just a few of them:


This window cat lives near De Cafe Jantje van Leiden and can often be found sitting on one of the front windowsills. I don’t know who came up with the term “window cat” but it describes all the felines around town who spend a good chunk of their free time watching the world go by while stuck indoors. As you can tell, she isn’t too terribly happy with whichever cyclist couldn’t be bothered to read the sign in her window.

ImageThis one’s the “cafe cat” at ‘t Suppiershuysinghe, a cafe near the Pieterskerk. No, she’d rather not be petted, thank you very much. Now drink your coffee. Hands off.

ImageBaby deer outside the tea house in the Leidse Hout, a large park near LUMC.


A mysterious, white window cat that can often be spotted peering down at pedestrians from a second story window along the Oude Rijn.


Commonly referred to as “The Carpet” (by me, anyway), this dog belongs to the owner of De Uyl Van Hoogland, a tavern filled with owl statues near the Hooglandse Kerk. Scientists at Leiden University have yet to determine whether or not the dog has eyes or if it maneuvers its way through the world by sense of smell.

ImageThis limited edition Hello Kitty doll was created for a 2011 exhibit at the Sieboldhuis, a museum devoted to Japanese culture. They were all snatched up with days of its debut.

ImageHere’s the *other* cat that lives in the house near De Cafe Jantje van Leiden. He typically hangs out in the front window on market days, demanding “window pets” from all who pass by. He can’t get enough of them.


This perpetually downtrodden bull dog belongs to the owner of a shop along the Nieuwe Rijn. He can often be seen sunning himself outside on clear days while sighing loudly and often.

ImageAKA “The Most Disdainful Cat in Holland,” this hate-filled feline commands a spot in the front window of a house on the Apothekersdijk. Yes, he always looks like this and, yes, he can’t stand you even though he’s never met you. NOW BEGONE!


Finally, here’s a cat that’s known by many names around town. His owner calls him Jacco but he’s better known as Buurtpoes Bledder (which means “Neighborhood Soccer Cat” in Dutch). He earned this nickname for his distinctive white and black fur and his tendency to always get under people’s feet. BB (AKA “Danger Cat”) likes to frequent the bars and shops near the Hooglandse Kerk.

When he’s not enjoying live jazz sets at De Twee Spieghels, he’s slinking around the whiskey bottles at the Leiden Bierwinkel or lounging around with the patrons outside the Cafe Jantje van Leiden on sunny days. BB has his own Facebook fan page and tales of his many adventures have been profiled on De Telegraaf and IamExpat.

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