As told by Karma Cat + Zen Dog volunteers Ana and Scott.
Turkey and Cats: A Perfect Combo
In 2012, we traveled to Turkey for summer vacation. When we checked into our hotel there was a beautiful ceramic cat at the front desk. This was just the first of the hundreds of cats and cat figurines we saw on our trip. It turns out cats are HUGE in Turkey!
Turkey is both a Christian and Muslim country, and according to Islamic legends, a cat saved the prophet Mohammad from a snake. In other stories, Mohammad allows a cat to give birth on his cloak and cuts off the sleeve of his robe rather than disturb a cat who was sleeping on it. This, beyond the general awesomeness of cats, might explain the deep respect for cats in Turkey.
Many cats in Turkey are neighborhood cats, with no one person responsible for them but rather the community coming together to lovingly care for them. We saw this first-hand on our trip, and an incredible documentary (Kedi Film) came out last year about the cats and feline aficionados of Istanbul.
Introducing The Topkapi Cats, Cakir and Cevik
Having loved our time in Turkey, we are thrilled to be fostering (and introducing) brothers Cakir (Chuck-err) and Cevik (Che-vick). These two tabbies, who also answer to “Tony” and “Steve” respectively, have come to us from a loving Turkish family who, due to unfortunate circumstances, had to say goodbye to their sweet boys after five years together. While Cakir and Cevik are undoubtedly missing their previous home and family, they adjusted to us quickly and beautifully. They are purrfect gentlemen with good eating, drinking and litter box habits. They like to play quietly and sleep curled up next to their humans. Lastly, in Cakir/Tony’s case, he likes to ascend our bookshelves when the view from below gets boring. He’s very sure-footed and hasn’t bumped a single thing off the shelves, which is as nice as it is impressive. 🙂
One of our favorite sights on our trip was Topkapi Palace, which used to be the home of Ottoman sultans. Now it is a museum with beautiful gardens which are home to many happy, free-roaming cats. We lovingly call Cakir and Cevik “the Topkapi Cats.” Everybody — us fosters, our friends at KCZD and their kittysitter — melts over these guys. They are just so sweet, well-mannered, pleasant and engaging, they’re going to bring joy into the lives of whoever welcomes them into their home.
Please share this story so we can find them a new palace of their own. Interested in adopting the Topkapi Cats? Contact us today!