A friend of mine recently posted this article from the Wall Street Journal about the Cats in Istanbul: Why Istanbul Should Be Called Catstantinople. Check it out. It articulates my thoughts better than I can myself.
More often than not, I post a picture of the street cats in Istanbul on Facebook and people reply that it is sad they don’t have a home. You’ll understand when you get here: the entire city of Istanbul IS their home. You don’t need to feel sorry for them.
One cannot possibly visit Istanbul without admiring all the felions that sleep on the motorbikes, rest on the pillows at the cafe with you, or doze off in a basket at the local beauty product shop.
The cats are loyal to their alleys, antique shops, and mosques. They are loved and cared for by the locals who set food and water outside their apartment buildings in used water jugs, yogurt containers, or other recylced plastics. There are even cat hostels on many streets and alleys in Cihangir reading, “Kedi Evi” – “Cat home”, that have been set up by many a cat lover. The local common folk aren’t alone in their efforts. If you see a cat sporting blue iodine, that little furry friend has had a wound treated by the vet.
Looking for my favorite cats and kittens has become a regular part of my routine. I can’t imagine Istanbul without cats the same way I can’t imagine it without the Bosphorus.
I’ve never gone out and about with my nice camera to snap pictures of the cats, so here is a collection of phone pictures: