My friend Katie sent me an email over the weekend titled “Buurtpoes Bledder” and a link to a Wikipedia page. What I read made me so happy because it is the sort of story that reminds me of Portland. As it turns out, Buurtpoes Bledder was a cat that made his home among the shops and cafes in Leiden’s central district. In case you didn’t know, Leiden is the city we will be moving to in 7.5 weeks!
Buurtpoes, originally named Jacco, was adopted by a student house in Leiden in 2012. Eventually he started to roam the city making friends where ever he went. Some business owners even welcomed him! His regular spots were Cafe Jantje van Leiden a bar, De Twee Spieghels a jazz cafe, an import beer shop, and a record store.
His best known name, Buurtpoes Bledder, was given to him by the record store clerk. It is a mixture of Dutch words and regional terms. “Buurtpoes” translates as “neighborhood cat” and “Bledder” has multiple definitions, but in this case means “ball” due to his resemblance to a soccer ball.
Buurtpoes became so famous that he was on the news, in the paper and has his own Facebook fan page with over 1,000 likes. Which by the way, is where all these images came from. I will sadly not have the pleasure of meeting him myself as he was hit by a car on August 7th, 2013 by an unknown motorist. Rest in peace little cat.