In my last post in this series I wrote about encountering a number of cats at the archaeological site of Ephesus. Even though we saw a lot of cats at the place we never actually imagined that cats roamed the streets of much of Turkey in large numbers.
Only when we kept seeing cats during our walks along the beach at Kusadasi did we actually realise that there was something going on. Kusadasi is a beautiful resort town- what makes it even more interesting are the cats who ply the streets.
One of my most interesting memories was a cat who was lying down on the road close to the edge of the pavement, twitching its tail. Looking at it from a distance I was terrified that it had been hit by a vehicle and was seriously injured (seriously why else would a cat be lying on the edge of a road?) but coming nearer we could see nothing wrong with it- it just seemed to be lying on the road as if on a dare with two other cats that were nearby (I was in fact so scared I didn’t even take a photo of the cat!)
However, like everywhere else that we went to, there were at least a few people who left out food for the cats outside their shops or on the pavement.
When we got back to the hotel that evening we did a google search on why there were quite so many cats in Turkey. There seems to be no definitive answer and responses range from “Turkish people are very tolerant” (they definitely are!) to stories about how Prophet Mohammed once cut off a portion of his sleeve to not disturb a cat that was sleeping on it and hence people who follow Islam tend to look upon cats in a more benevolent light. Whatever the case, Turkish people tend to tolerate and care for cats more than people in a lot of other countries.
My next post in the series would be a photo blog on the cats of Cappadocia.