Why do Turks love cats?

Everything is possible for cats in Turkey: they freely walk the streets, sleep in restaurants and coffee shops, live in shops and mosques. Mustachioed-striped cats have long become a living symbol of the Turkish capital – according to the veterinary service of Istanbul, 125 thousand no-man's cats live in the metropolis. Tourists jokingly call Istanbul Catstantinopol, locals feed the cats on a regular basis, and the authorities install kedi evi – cat houses in the yards. What is the reason for such boundless love?

Rescue cats

First, street cats have long held an important place in the ecosystem of Turkish port cities, where there have always been many rodents. In the 8th century, tireless hunters saved Istanbul from the plague by destroying the hordes of rats that filled the port docks and streets. To this day, cats regularly control the population of mice and rats in cities.

By the way, here is a selection of the most beautiful Istanbul cats!

Tribute to tradition

Secondly, respect for the cat tribe is a tribute to religious traditions, and the prophet Muhammad himself became an example of caring for cats: he washed himself with the water they drank, allowed them to enter mosques and preached with a cat on his lap. Tradition says that once Muhammad cut off part of his clothes so as not to disturb a pet that fell asleep on it. According to another legend, the prophet's favorite cat saved his life by chasing away a poisonous snake hidden in the sleeve of his robe. In gratitude, the saint touched her back, giving her 9 lives and the ability to land on all four paws.

Mystical version

The Turks also believe that cats go to heaven and can put in a good word to Allah for a person who took care of them. Therefore, the inhabitants of the country feed, water and protect furry creatures in every possible way. The Turks have many interesting traditions in general, for example, they often smear their hands with cologne, touch their teeth when frightened, and they like to drink coffee with a glass of cold water.

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