Cairo’s street cats may soon be vying for posh, winterized housing options, thanks to the creativity and compassion of eco-friendly designer and Cairo resident Ibrahim Abougendy.
Abougendy, who initially aspired to be an architect, is now known as the “Trash Designer” for founding Mobikya, a green interior design studio that “up-cycles” used tires into furniture and home furnishings.
“Building unique spaces for people is cool,” Abougendy told Egypt Today. “But being sustainable and utilizing my design eye and knowledge to transform solid waste into a product that people and the environment would love [was my goal].”
Determined to put his up-cycling acumen to work for Cairo’s street cat population, Abougendy created a unique mobile shelter he calls a “sheltire.” Made largely out of used tires, each colorfully painted sheltire is thermally insulated — being made of rubber — and can accommodate up to five felines for a little extra warmth during Cairo’s cooler winter months.
Two recent snow showers in Egypt’s coastal cities of Hurghada and Alexandria have heightened Abougendy’s concerns about the negative impacts of climate change, he said.
“There is snowfall and heavy rainfall in Egypt as a result of climate change,” he told The National News. “We are trying to be one step ahead for stray animals who are at risk because of changes in the weather.”