Cats in Turkey – it’s a thing.

I’m not even going to bother apologizing for being behind, from now on, because that’s just how it’s going to be.

So. For today – I bring you cats. Because when I went to Turkey earlier this year, there were lots and lots of cats.

I heard from someone that prophet Mohammed once cut off part of his robe so as not to disturb a feline that was sleeping on it. This demonstration of cat love seems to have propagated through the Muslim generations, the proof of which peers at you from dark alleys and cracked doorways all over Turkey. (Wikipedia says the Mohammed cat has a name.)

On the first night, I was serenaded out of sleep by the yowling yelps of mutant cat-seagull-duck-sealions fighting/mating/who-knows-what in the distance. Now, cats can churn out a batch of kittens in 2 months. On one of our walking tours, we learned that while Istanbul spays and chips dogs, they don’t even bother with cats, because there are just too many of them. So dogs get neutered, and sent to die of starvation on islands, but cats are allowed to reproduce, and even get fed. Talk about injustice.

Restaurants even leave out scraps of food for strays. I made the mistake of dropping a scrap of fish for this pretty fellow. This meant that for the rest of lunch, he sat there, staring, meowing, and gently placing his claws on my leg. No more for you…until the waiter gives you and your family our table’s leftovers. Oops.

Fish cat


This one, in Mustafapasa near Cappadocia, was much scrawnier. Mickie said hi to him as we walked by, and he decided to get up from his nap and come walk with us. For oh, about the next 15 minutes.  It was a hot day, and he kept up pretty well, running on the warm cobblestones. At some point, scampering down some steps, it paused, panting. I’d never seen a cat panting before. Sadly, we had neither food nor water to provide. Just a couple pats on the head. Alas, the minor attention seemed to just make it more hopeful. After we crossed a road, it found itself stuck on the other side, meowing loudly. There’s a life lesson in there somewhere. Don’t bother showing small kindnesses; people will just get the wrong idea.

Thirsty cat

Also, did I mention vampire cats? Yes. Behold – from inside the Hagia Sophia, no less! They let them inside national monuments (!) I bet they don’t even pay admission.

vampire cat
1 comment
  1. such a handsome one, the green-eyed black and white cat, looks worthy of getting fish leftovers!

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