The Japanese island of Aoshima is renowned for its ever blossoming cat population, where felines outnumber humans by 6:1. However, speaking as a proud crazy cat lady, I think Malta can give the cat islands of Japan a run for their money. I mean, have you been to our University? The colony’s got more power than the Rector.

It’s often said that pets can look like their owners, but I feel this may also extend to temperament and cultural traits. I’ve spent most of my lifetime in the company of cats, and I firmly believe that the energy of the feline race frequently emulates or echoes that of the Maltese, or to be more precise, the well-meaning and nurturing Maltese village dweller. Here’s my evidence:

A Running Commentary of Shock and Indignation

We Maltese will comment about anything and everything, and we get a kick out of being shocked or horrified. We also like to make a show and dance about it. Or rather, Maltese mums and nannas do. Aren’t we all familiar with the high-pitched and mortified ‘iii madoff!‘, ‘iii x’waħda din!‘, ‘ii x’arukaża!‘, ‘iiiii ara dak!‘? These statements are usually accompanied by the following facial expression:


Coy humility

Whenever someone produces a camera, Maltese mums run for the hills. Actually, they don’t just run. They recoil in horror and spasm hysterically out of the room. ‘Madonna, ara ġġibni ta’!’


Mediterranean Gesticulation

If we’ve borrowed anything off the Italians aside from the clever use of tomatoes, it’s expressive hands. And no one does this more eloquently than an all-knowing maternal senior. They’ve got it down to an art form, especially the praying hands that evolve into arms spread wide and a twirl round at the end of their exclamation. But then there are some who know how to keep it on a simmering level while still delivering the impact of their message. Exhibit A:


Bone Idleness

Cats truly share the Maltese person’s sense of lethargy and apathy. We’re a hard-working bunch on the whole, but when we lounge or aren’t motivated to work, we’ve got our nonchalance down to a T, and you won’t catch us lifting a finger to be pro-active. And if you so much as question us or disturb our contemplation, we’ll get passive aggressive, and because we don’t like exercise, our face will do most of the talking. Does this look familiar?



You’ll be surprised how many Maltese still keep their cash under a tile or under the mattress. I don’t blame them. And since we work our tails off to scrape a decent living, we’re very very VERY good with money, and we take good care of it, unless L-Istrina is on, in which case we give just enough to get into heaven.