Being home amidst the Coronavirus has me reminiscing of a recent trip to Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul is magnificent city on its own, however one of the most pleasant surprises was discovering that this ancient metropolis is completely over-run with Cats and Kittens! (and has been for centuries)
Here are some that you may see on a typical day. This furry friend just had a breakfast bagel, and I guess the carbs put you to sleep!
The next cat I saw just 3 blocks over was just lounging around on the sidewalk in front of a coffee house.
Why so many cats on the street? I soon learned that Cats became a popular animal in Turkey mostly because of the influence of Islam. A Cat saved the prophet Mohammed from a snake and he blessed them, thus giving them a well respected status among the people of Turkey. They’re also a natural pest hunter which helps keep the pest population under control when the city was mostly wooden structures and seafaring trading hub along the silk road.
Cats are not just Memes here. They are respected, fed, cared for by the local Government. This may have been the only big city where I didn’t see any feral, malnourished, unclean, or neglected cats.
I also noticed, the majority are incredibly friendly and warm. Like this beauty who saw my admiring the Bosporus strait and came right over to hug my legs 🙂
If your a Fan of Cats, and you have a chance to do a layover here do not pass up the opportunity! Not only will you get a chance to discover a unique melting pot of Asia and Europe, but you will also get to experience the cats in the city of istanbul!