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With all the recent local talk here and elsewhere about gentrification bitterness, racial disharmony, and general loathing of entire communities, one might get the idea that Los Angeles is nothing but a disjointed, angry sprawl of warring factions ready for another major meltdown. Well sir, that's simply not true.

We shan't pull out Rodney King's once-powerful but now-cliched chestnut, but instead ask you to direct your attention to a stretch of Rowena Avenue in Los Feliz where the neighbors do seem (albeit by a very surface examination as we drive by) to get along. Sure, the real estate prices there are high, and have been for years, but you see plenty of homes with peeling paint and weedpatch lawns in amongst the fountain grass dryscapes and Sunset Magazine centerfolds. And ceramic cats. We have seen the ceramic cats scaling the wall of the duplex on the corner of Rowena and Waverly for so many years that we're sure they aren't some sort of kitschy statement put there by some rich young smarmster. They are sincere, those cats, and very sweet looking. No kid from nearby Marshall High has stolen or defaced either of them to date, and the neighbors haven't erected tall fences to shield their view from any potential property devaluation the decidedly un-chic cats may effect. Everybody just seems to enjoy them.

Hooray for the ceramic cats!

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Photo of one of the ceramic cats by the author