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I can’t believe that I had not told you this about Istanbul (and Turkey in general). There are SO many cats!! Another reason why you will love it (whenever it is that we make it over there).
Here’s a little bit of history on this:
[Turkey has, a predominantly Muslim society where cats are tolerated, even respected. “Islamic lore tells of a cat thwarting a poisonous snake that had approached the Prophet Muhammad. In another tale, the prophet found his cat sleeping on the edge of his vest. Instead of shifting the cat, the prophet cut off the portion of the vest that was free and wore it without disturbing the pet.”
Looking through history books about Islam, many mention the prophet’s love of felines and while variations on the foregoing stories exist, the overarching affection for cats has been consistent.
Indeed, a popular saying notes “If you kill a cat, you need to build a mosque to be forgiven by God.” As a result, wandering the streets of Istanbul you will see many small containers by the sides of buildings, and discreet food rations doled out by its inhabitants. While the cats are not adopted formally, they are taken care of by no one and everyone, a giant community network of cat caring. Even the World Basketball championships boasted a feline mascot, a blue-and-green eyed “Bascat” after the long-haired Turkish Van.]