Why do Madrid people call themselves "cats"?
A real indigenous Madrid, whose family has lived in the capital for several generations, will surely say to himself "I am a Madrid cat" (or a cat, depending on gender). When communicating with a cat or cat, you can be sure that this person knows all the nooks, bars, shops and other key cat sights of the area (unfortunately, this does not always apply to museums and other beauty, quite a few "cats" have never been in the Prado Museum) .
There are several versions of the origin of this katoikonym, and, as always, they are divided into official and everyday ones. According to the official version, in 1085, during the Reconquista, King Alonso VI tried several times to conquer the Arab fortress of Al-Maherit (or, according to another transcription, Mayrit) that stood on the site of the present city. In the end, the fortress was taken by cunning: one very dexterous soldier, sneaking up to the wall at night, managed to climb it with only one dagger, gain a foothold at the top and lower the rope. The quite official version says that, in addition, he raised the Christian flag over the still unconquered fortress, but this, it seems to me, is completely out of the realm of fantasy (why drag the flag with such difficulties, when, say, the second rope, allowing the second group of conquerors to climb, would be much more practical?). This soldier received the nickname Gato - a cat, which later became a surname. Many respected families of Madrid descended from this great ancestor, so the indigenous people of Madrid almost all have a certain Gato in their family.