Photo Location: A cat in Istanbul naps on a sunny bench in the courtyard of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum.
The residents of Istanbul love their cats. You’ll see cats roaming freely throughout the city, yet they do not act like feral animals, nor are they quite pets. Humans put out food and water, pet them when they want it, and even step in for veterinary care as needed. Islamic legend says that the prophet Muhammad was saved form a poisonous snake by a brave cat, which may explain the love and even reverence shown to these creatures in this large bustling city. In one restaurant that we ate at, the owner had given a safe haven to a mother cat so that she could give birth to a litter of kittens, and was trying to find loving homes for the young ones. Clearly, “it takes a village” to love and care for a cat in Istanbul.
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