Let’s talk cats

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And that was it. Right there. Right there, that was the moment. I suddenly realised that unless something changed soon I was going to live a life where my major relationship was with a bottle of wine… and I’d finally die, fat and alone, and be found three weeks later half-eaten by alsatians. Or I was about to turn into Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.

What Bridget Jones should have been told (Helen Fielding you rogue) is that she was actually at the age where it was appropriate to buy a cat. Better still, she could have taken a quick trip and an an empty cat cage to Turkey, and nicked one.

They are eveywhere. Quite literally everywhere. This pic, above, was me minding my own business having lunch on the cliffs overlooking the ocean at Antalya, and boom, cat got my bag.

Ask Kemal. When I did just that, he said,

“Oooh everywhere. Government has no paper about it. One cat three times a year, five cats every time”.

To which I understood he meant, they breed like rabbits and before long, that dire refugee problem everyone is so worried about, is going to pale in comparison to the fact we’ve been overrun by cats, without enough single middle aged women to feed them.

I’m happy to do my bit but even I’m impressed by the lengths this woman goes to…

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Meet Geraldine *name changed to preserve dignity, where we find her one sunny Tuesday morning on a long stretch of boulevard in Antalya.

She was tending to what can only be described as a pidgeon coup for cats. It was a massive bird cage filled with wooden boxes, which housed innumerable (well, i couldnt count them all) felines. Like the final comeupance for Tweedy Bird against Silvester. Except these cats are clearly being fed and (sort of) looked after.

KV and I counted at least 38 cats roaming the area after the woman opened the cage. In this photo you can see maximum five cats (it’s like a Graeme Base book). Imagine another 33 skulking on the grass.

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The Turks, it transpires, have a confused relationship with their stray cats.

Only six hours after we scoffed at this scene, KV and I had schlepped ourselves back to the Otogar station at the top end of the boulevard, where KV noticed a couple of less than savoury individuals of the male persuasion being, frankly, a little bit mean to this teeny black, brown and white kitten.

To cut a long story short, a crazy cat lady rescued it from them and popped it inside one of the enclosed bus station shelters with a few cat pellets (an actual crazy cat lady, to be clear. I know you thought it was KV, but it wasnt).

So that was nice. But while KV was off buying supplies for the nine hour overnight bus trip and I was hanging out watching our bags waiting for the promised shuttle transfer (which, as it turned out was destined never to arrive, it being the week of rest for all and sundry in Turkey except it seems, travellers) I noticed the kitten had caught the eye of a girl of about 13, and her mum.

Clearly her mum was in a weak and vulnerable state, what with the girl sporting a broken arm and all. Nice play, kid.

As it transpired the kitten seemed to take a liking to the girl too, and it literally glued itself to her. Five minutes later, the duo, after considerable (broken) arm waving and some laughter and a few concerned looks of the “what the hell are we going to tell your father?” variety, picked up the kitten, exited the shelter and began what I can only romanticise as a long walk home (what with them having been waiting for a bus in the first place) cat in hand, and a little bit of explaining to do.

It was one of the cutest seven minute scenes I’ve ever witnessed. And a serious win for the cat.

Dont panic mum, I’ve found me the perfect…

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Turkish style.

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Konya  style

Wedding dress. Now, for the other esential ingredient.

We hapened upon this little gem in the central anatolya town of Konya, which is one of the more conservative (religious) centres in the country, apparently. Clearly not when it comes to colour and volumnibility – yes new word, thank you –  for wedding attire.

Day four hundred and seventy six and look what i found…

20131017_160115Yes, for all those who said it would never happen, who labelled my blog title ridiculous, and flippant, because obviously there were no sausages in the middle east (more people than I expected, actually), I’ve spotted sausages.

Not in a butcher, or on a bbq (most outdoor grills are booked up with rows of marinated, flaming, meat juice dripping shish kebabs of assorted deliciousness), but hanging in bunches from the windows of a home in a little town called Uchisar, in Cappadocia. No wonder there are packs of dogs roaming the street. I would too if there was a chance one of these might fall from its perch. And yes, I acknowledge we’re technically not in the Middle East yet, but still. It’s evidence enough for me not to change my blog name to something more sensible like Inquisitive Interloper (eminently senible but a bit naff).

A few other food related things I’ve noticed…

1. Turkish bread is a lie. I have not seen any. I mayaswell pack up the swag and come home.

2. Hardly any tourists drink Turkish coffee.  I mean, seriously. You’re in Turkey. Nescafe is offered as a valid option on most menus that the anglo/germanic/franco/ruski speakers are given. For my part I’ve found a Turkish coffee, with its thick semi-edible sludge always comes in handy if you’re (a) missing an epi-pen, (b) forgot your anagesia tablets or (c) need something to eat but cant afford to buy food.

3. Baklava is good, but I was expecting earth shattering. Turkey you’ve betrayed me. A barman – slash – waiter at our fabulous Kas hotel on the Turquoise Coast proclaimed turkish baklava was the equivalent of the little blue pill. I’m not sure about that. KV and I tried it for dessert with some kind of pistachio icecream, then went on to have three bottles of (rather excellent) wine on the rooftop terrace watching the stars bloom over Kas bay and the Greek island of Meis; one dry martini (part of research into what properly constitutes dry v wet martinis) and a very long, long island iced tea. The baklava might have been good, I cant quite remember.