The Story of a Persian cat in a Persian Garden | Tehran, Iran


During my trip to Iran, I saw people who had dogs for pets but none who had cats. I’m sure many Iranians do keep cats as pets, I just didn’t meet them. I did see a number of ‘pishi’ cats though when I was out and about wandering around. Specially in Tehran. (By the way, a cat is called ‘gorbeh’ in Farsi, but ‘pishi’ is a cute somewhat childish slang for cat — the Persian version of “kitty,” I guess.)

But anyway, here’s goes the very short story of a particular Persian cat:

Doctor hessabi Professor Iranian house intersectioin Ellahiyeh Tehran Iran Adjacent to the Iranian Art Museum Garden. My epic trip to Iran!

Professor Hessabi’s intersection. Tehran, Iran

One time, I got to go to this place called Bagh ‘e Mouzeh ye honar (Iranian Art Museum Garden) — a beautiful space with (among other things) a sprawling garden with mini replica installations of famous Iranian monuments. In the Ellaiyeh neighborhood in the north of Tehran. Right around the Professor Hessabi intersection.



Iranian Art Museum Garden has several facilities and attractions but on that particular day, one of its greatest most irresistible draws was a cat …


Cute Persian cat napping on sculpture in Bagh e Mouzeh ye honar (Iranian Art Museum Garden) in Tehran, Iran

A cat taking a sun bath, napping soundly and adorably, sprawled on a metal sculpture.

Everybody and their aunts, including yours truly and accompanying relatives, stood transfixed, staring at this cat, going: awwww! And we all took pictures. It was impossible to resist the impulse to immortalize the cuteness.


An Iranian family taking picture of a cat in the Bagh e Mouzeh ye honar (Iranian Art Museum Garden) in Tehran, Iran

The Pishi Papparazzi Posse (sorry, couldn’t resist the alliteration)

I couldn’t help snapping a photo of this family who, like the rest of us, were gobsmacked by the cute kitty cat.

cat napping on sculpture in Bagh e Mouzeh ye honar (Iranian Art Museum Garden) in Tehran, Iran

Can you spot the sleepy pishi cat?

I went back to the Art Museum Garden quite a number of times. One time there, I saw a huge production which turned out to be a shoot for a commercial.

Bagh e Mouzeh ye honar (Iranian Art Museum Garden) in Tehran, Iran

now you see him now you don’t. nary a pishi in sight!

But never again did I see a maloos pishi catching some sun-soaked Z’s on the sculpture.

And that’s the end of the tale of this particular Persian cat given to languidly reclining in a park. A slumbering pishi dreaming of mahee and panir and moosh.


Have a lovely weekend & may you slumber soundly & dream of your favorite thing.

 daffodile graphic icon illustrated digital illustration





40 thoughts on “The Story of a Persian cat in a Persian Garden | Tehran, Iran

  1. awww cute – my Persian friends who lived in Tehran growing up used to have about 8 cats ……and my cat is called Gorbachev – based on the combination of a) gorbeh being farsi for cat 2) the fact he looks a bit like Putin but seemed mean, so he became gorbachev, but we call him Tchoffi 🙂 – my second cat who got run over was a long haired mix – salt and pepper and really hyperactive, and so she was named Felfeli 🙂 – greetings Poli

    • I think this is my most favorite comment, ever! LOVE the story, thank you for giving me a BIG smile & chuckle 🙂

      • you are very welcome – glad to have brought a smile to your face, and I am happy that such a simple story could give you so much joy 🙂

        Like Pishi too 🙂 f I ever have another one I will call her Pishi – as long as she is black and white and chubby with long whiskers – she would look like a real pishi!

    • But you are an ahu! That’s even better than a pishi! I’ll confess though, I think I AM a pishi, ha ha. Ahu jan, btw, me and you and Azita must get together soon. We really should.

  2. Hey there! Did you know today is World’s Cat Day or was this post just a coincidence?
    Anyways, I just loved it.

    • I agree, and also, sometimes when you are prepared to be charmed, things conspire to charm you … eh it that makes any sense

  3. How sweet, my auntie always called us “pishika” which means kitty-cat so a post on a Pishi definitely warms my heart…what a sweet amusing little story but I am impressed by the art museum itself please do share more pictures of what you saw at the museum 🙂

    • Awww, I like ‘pishika’ even better, so cute. I’m going to use that! And thank you, I’m happy that you enjoyed this story & definitely will share more pictures of this quite interesting space.

  4. Loved your picture story, Azita. I am pishi lover, after my two older cats passed away three years ago, sob …sob…, I finally got a new cat with just three legs and she is the sunshine of my life…. I talk to her in my little Farsi, call her all the time …. Joonam… and she responds to that.. Pishika is an even cuter name it.

    • Awww! Cornelia joon! How sweet the story of your sunshine kitty! Please hug your pishi joon (pishika joon) from me. 🙂

      • Thank you Azita joon, I will try to hug her from you. So far she is shying away from my hugs, since must have had gone through a trauma @ her previous owner, though she loves to cuddle in the mornings in my bed.

      • Well a cuddle is good too! This reminds me of my little nephew when he was very little and he very seriously would say that he would like to: cuddle but not snuggle. And I always got the distinctions wrong!

  5. Ha ha, I’m trying to picture you slumbering snugly like a cute pishi cat on a metal sculpture in your garden! 🙂

  6. Perfect spot for a nap. As you know I’m not a pet person. Now Sofia changed everything but I’m still very cautious when it comes to cats. They are outrageously beautiful creatures and I always associate perfect beauty with a line of cruelty. Their eyes in particular … so gorgeous and impossible to read at the same time. Even the Egyptians thought they had magical powers. I guess there must be many legends about them in your culture too.

    • It’s funny you mention their eyes Francesca! My upstairs neighbor has a beautiful cat and we made eye contact the other day and I was mesmerized and also daunted by the look in her eyes and just those gorgeous, mysterious yellow pupils with the slanted pupils. Cats ARE something!

      Interestingly, in my culture, cats are not treated with reverence. With affection, yes, but not deference. Foxes and crows and nightingales and owls and snakes on the other hand … those are rather iconic animals in my culture.

      I wonder how the kitties fare in Italian culture? and serious question, how do cats ‘meow’ in Italian? In Farsi they go: “miu miu” like the Italian fashion label, ha ha!


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