Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cat Lady

Turkey is known for beautiful beaches, hospitality, history and delicious food...unfortunately it is not known for being warm and loving towards animals.  This is not to say that Turkish people are cruel towards animals, because they are certainly not, but animals are not really viewed the same way they are back home.  In Canada, it's common that pets are treated like children, and often sit on the couch, wear special clothes and sleep in their owner's beds.  Turkish people, however, are known for keeping beautifully clean, immaculate houses.... because animals are considered dirty, and well, animals, they are generally not kept inside the house.  Animals are treated like animals here...

Me and Mıstık

There are, however, some amazing people here who are constantly advocating for the rights of these animals.  I have been working with İpek, a really lovely Turkish girl who runs a sort of rescue organization for the homeless animals of Ankara.  There is no sort of SPCA here, but İpek is well known amongst the animal lover community and helps place homeless animals in vet clinics (the vets here usually provide temporary homes for homeless animals), foster homes and permanent homes.  I have fostered 3 cats since arriving in Ankara.  The first one was a pretty 5 month old white, female cat whom I named Ayla.  We have been able to find a permanent home for Ayla.

Sleepy Sissie Annie wrapped up in her scarf :)

The second is Sissie, a 2-3 month old grey and white long-ish haired female cat who I instantly fell in love with.  Sissie, or Sissie Annie was hit by a car and found a few days later by a gardner in İpek's neighbourhood.  She has a broken front paw, and the tip of the paw is paralyzed so she'll never walk properly.  I kept her for two weeks but now she's back at the vet's office because she kept removing her cast.  Sissie is staying in a cage there where it will be more difficult for her to remove her cast, and the vet will have easy access to her when her cast needs to be put back on.  I have decided to adopt Sissie, because, besides the fact that I love her, it will be next-to-impossible for Sissie to find a home here in Turkey.  Ity is difficult to find homes for animals who walk properly, let alone one who has a broken leg.  I plan on taking her wherever I go, so she will be coming to Canada with me this summer (unless there is a huge problem with customs...but there shouldn't be, I'm doing the research and getting all of Sissie's documents.)

'Can I has your password for the 'puter pls?' - Sissie Annie

I was afraid that Sissie would be lonely, because I am away during the day and this would be a very boring appartment for a kitty to stay in, so I got another cat.  This one's name is Mıstık, which is a nickname, his real name is Mustafa.  He is a HUGE 5-6 month old cat who looks like he should be on the cover of National Geographic.  He's got all the markings of some type of wild cat, with a big nose and big paws.  That said, Sissie was quick to put him in his place when he first arrived.  She hobbled after him with a cast on one leg while hissing at him, and he ran away and hid behind the couch!

Mıstık playing with the mouse toy Mom sent him for Christmas :) Thanks, Mom! :)

The cats are great company, and in a small way, I'm helping the animals of Ankara, because by taking one cat, I free up a cage in a vet's office so another homeless cat can stay there.  As an added bonus, I get to have two, cuddly warm cats, to curl up and sleep with, on my bed :)

For more information about the homeless animals of Ankara, please check out Ipek's Facebook Group.


  1. Kirbie...Can't wait to meet Sissie in person! She's such a cutie! Love MOM

  2. What you are doing is so great! These cats are beautiful, and every animal deserves an awesome home. Pretty soon, you will surely be known as the 'Cat Lady'! That, however, definitely isn't a bad thing :)

  3. Such a nice thing you are doing, Kirbie. The cats are beautiful!
    Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
    Love from Uncle Roger and Aunt Leola xoxox

  4. Jealous! They are adorable. I wonder if I can talk allergic Brendan into fostering...