On Hoopoes, Black Cats, and Dodecagons

A few months ago, the city began to erect a traffic circle at this dangerous intersection. Work stopped temporarily when residents of a neighboring street sued the city out of concern for the extra traffic in front of their homes. I am more concerned about the safety of the intersection, but I realize other issues are involved. My daughter fears the traffic circle will make it harder to cross the street on her way to school, when there are a large number of cars. She won’t be able to judge which cars are headed toward her as they go around the circle.

The city puts a sculpture, or garden, in each traffic circle. I found the one above next to the bus stop on my way to Tel Aviv last week. A worker noticed me with the camera, so I asked him what he thought. He replied with some unpleasant comments about the mayor. Then I realized that an element seemed to be missing from the sculpture. (I’ll wait while you congratulate me on my artistic perception.) So I asked about that, too.

It turns out that a statue of a black cat had been placed on the rock at the base of the dodecagon. When a woman living in an apartment nearby called the city and yelled that she didn’t want to see that cat there every day, it was removed. Apparently a columnist complained about it too.

If you look closely you can see the hoopoe, now Israel’s national bird, at the top of the figure. Several traffic circles feature hoopoes in various poses. I wonder whether the cat was supposed to be contemplating the bird for its next meal? The worker suspects that since the mayor was reelected, we shouldn’t expect a replacement for the cat.

In the meantime they restarted work on my traffic circle and I am anxious to see what artwork will appear.


  1. You can write to the municipality about it and get other concerned parents to do the same. Feel free to guest post on my blog about it also — urban planning is also an environmental concern.
    – Karin

  2. mother in israel says

    A twelve-sided figure.

  3. what is a “dodecagon”? (I figure it is that circle thing..)

  4. Lion of Zion says

    that’s pretty impressive that a municipality would act to make one person happy (the lady who complained about the cat)

  5. mother in israel says

    Well, I wonder if that is the whole story.

  6. Lion of Zion says

    why, is she sleeping with the mayor?
    you should post a link to your orthonomics post. maybe some readers don’t ordinarily read her?

  7. I passed by that circle! Wow, now I can actually make a left turn there, without a problem. There is a little birdie on the top, did you catch it?

  8. Oops, I didn’t read till the end. I thought it was a road runner or something, but I couldn’t stop the car and check it out.

  9. mother in israel says

    Now I heard that perhaps the bird was the replacement for the cat.


  1. Hoopoes Duodecagons and Black Cats A Mother in Israel says:

    […] Hoopoes Duodecagons and Black Cats A Mother in Israel Posted by root 19 minutes ago (https://www.amotherinisrael.com) Dec 1 2008 the city puts a sculpture or garden in each traffic circle i found the one above next to the it turns out that a statue of a black cat had been placed on the rock at the base of the dodecagon leave a comment name required powered by wordpress a Discuss  |  Bury |  News | Hoopoes Duodecagons and Black Cats A Mother in Israel […]