“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” ― Jean Cocteau

Friday, 21 October 2016

The lives of Istanbul's cats

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A new documentary is set to be released which follows the lives of Istanbul's cats, showing the amazing relationship between the citizens and the stray cats.

Istanbul's stray cats really do rule the city, you can find them getting lots of attention from the tourists, walking around the shop displays and enjoying a sit down in the cafes. They have their own custom-built shelters and feeding stations on the streets, so there is no worry about these stray cats - they are the Kings and Queens of Istanbul. The trailer is down below for more of an idea of what to expect when it is released.


The documentary, named 'Kedi' which means 'cat' in Turkish, tells the stories of several cats and the humans who love and care for them. The film beautifully shows how the stray cats are an integral part of the city. The film documents how this special relationship with the felines in Istanbul dates back thousands of years.

[caption id="attachment_1473" align="alignnone" width="750"]14555663_1500006443350424_1519174771_n photo: catsofistanbul / Instagram[/caption]

It brings in the history of Istanbul as a port city and how this could be responsible for the sheer amount of stray cats roaming the streets of Istanbul. Cats from all over the world  found themselves on the cargo boats travelling to Istanbul, and they were also bred to control the pest problem in the city.

[caption id="attachment_1474" align="alignnone" width="750"]14741690_1500006473350421_1179134161_n photo: catsofistanbul / Instagram[/caption]

They have always been cared for by the locals and tourists. Houses have cat flaps, mosques feed the beautiful animals, there's even a saying in Islam which says "if you have killed a cat, you need to build a mosque to be forgiven by god." The majority faith in Turkey is Islam, and this probably plays a big part in the cities love for cats. The texts of Islam talk about the Prophet Muhammad's love for cats.

[caption id="attachment_1475" align="alignnone" width="750"]14797278_1500006456683756_1891000212_n photo: catsofistanbul / Instagram[/caption]

Istanbul has transformed from a village to a bustling city, and with every bit of natural land replaced with pavement, the cats need to adapt even more. People put food and drink out on the streets all year long as the summers have become longer and hotter. The documentary shows the lengths people go to in order to help these cats; shelters are constructed with blood, sweat and tears and locals who pay hefty vet bills for cats they don't even own.

[caption id="attachment_1476" align="alignnone" width="750"]14797495_1500006433350425_1711131547_n photo: catsofistanbul / Instagram[/caption]

It just goes to show how cats all over the world are loved and respected. The name 'stray cat' seems to have negative connotations, with the image of a skinny, ungroomed cat coming to mind, but these lovely cats in Istanbul are quite the opposite. They even have their own Instagram which has captured the hearts of  over ten thousand people by capturing the cats in their natural states around the city.


You can find out more about the film on their website http://www.kedifilm.com/, and we can be sure to be first in line when it finally does get released. In January 2017.


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