Temple Cat, Bangkok, 2009
Temples are as much a part of life in Thailand as eating. They are revered and enjoyed by the population. Thai Buddha's are wrapped up and dressed with the seasons, they are visited, left offerings and treated like kings - which is probably the point of being a deity.
So wandering around the temple complex of the Big Golden Bhudda, finding these guys wrapped up in plastic while renovations were done, it just felt a little out of character. The cat skerricking away, t, the drums of paint, the plastic sheeting, the lack of workman, the lacksadaisical way the buddha's are wrapped - it's hard to work out whether this is all being done out of duty or care.
Then there's the cat. What's he doing there? Who does he belong to? Who feeds him?
I discovered over the ten days I was in Thailand that surly cats are a temple feature, pissing in pot plants, swiping at visitors, other demanding a flea providing cuddle or just sizing you up, protecting the buddhas as if they were infirm people.
They're like the silent heartbeat of these magnificent places.