Today’s guest post comes from Sukanya:
I recently read an article where the author suggested that the city of Istanbul in Turkey should be renamed to ‘Catstantinople’ (a play on the old name of Istanbul- Constantinople). I could relate to why the author had made that suggestion. Almost everywhere you go in the city you can find cats. Cats alone, cats in groups, cats sitting in stores, cats lounging in parks- everywhere you turn there is cat. It is a paradise for cat lovers.
I wonder how the cats managed to find food to eat. I noticed that a lot of kind Turkish people give food to the cats. We were there during the month of Ramadan and I saw one storekeeper who himself was fasting feed a cat with fish. Some cats aren’t so fortunate and have to scrounge around the garbage cans for food. But the majority of Turkish people are tolerant and kind towards the cats.
I saw cats bossing people around in shops, other cats were starved of affection and would come and cuddle up with you at the least invitation.
This phenomenon is not unique only to Istanbul. We found the same situation with the cats in almost every other town we went. We first noticed the cats at the Roman ruins of Ephesus where the cats had successfully managed to convince the guards and archaeologist teams working at the site to feed them.
At Cappadoccia the hotel where we were staying had two dogs. Yet the cats found the time and the space to mingle with the guests.
I tried finding the answer to why Turkey had so many cats on the internet. Some suggested that cats were looked on favourably because of religious reasons but there seemed to be no one particular reason.
Whatever the reason, you can be assured that you will run into at least a few cats if you travel to Turkey. As a cat lover I cannot imagine what can be better.
More at my own blog at http://sukanyaramanujan.wordpress.com
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