Cats can be intriguing, mysterious, mischievous and downright interesting. These cats, however, take interesting to another level. Read on for our roundup of some of the most interesting cats we could find.
The New York Times Foreign Bureau Cats
The New York Times reports that it has become somewhat of a tradition for its foreign correspondents to take in and adopt local cats. Eventually, reporters in Cairo, Baghdad, Kabul, Islamabad and Dakar brought some of their adopted felines back with them to their home countries, including the United States, France and England.
Purdah, adopted and moved to the States from Islamabad, was, unbeknownst to her humans, pregnant when they left Pakistan. Purdah gave birth to a litter of kittens shortly after clearing customs in NYC. Louis, a stray African cat adopted by the West African bureau chief and moved to Paris, reports that Louis has had to adjust from a free-roaming life chasing lizards and climbing trees to being an apartment cat. Not easy but the alternative of leaving him behind in Senegal was not an option.
Istanbul’s Cats: Immortalized in Film
Istanbul is a bustling, crowded, historic, gorgeous place with a cat population to match. The documentary, Kedi, directed by Turkish film-maker, Ceyda Torun, is about seven of Istanbul’s feral felines, Sari, Bengü, Aslan Parçasi, Psikopat, Deniz, Gamsiz, and Duman. Torun filmed stories about 19 cats and ended up using the seven featured in the film.
According to the director, the community cares for its street cats in exchange for rodent control services, affection (to and from the cats) and “good energy”. Apparently cats have been a part of Istanbul’s history for thousands of years and are also revered in Islam.
In a recent interview in The Guardian, Torun explained what the cats mean to Istanbul’s population: “There’s nobody here that doesn’t have a memory of cats: no grandmother, no generation has been here without cats, so they’re ingrained in our collective memory. People tend to be in awe of the freedom cats have, their ability to go in and out of almost anywhere. They show up in political situations, universities; they go in and out of places that are forbidden or dangerous for humans. And cats provide this wonderful opportunity for people in Istanbul to pick a moment to be affectionate with a being that doesn’t judge them, that doesn’t have complicated human relationship issues.”
A Street Cat Named Bob
Yes, he really does exist and yes, the 2016 movie starring Bob, naturally, and Luke Treadaway as James Bowen, really is a true story. Bob is a 12-year old former street cat who took up with formerly homeless and drug addicted London busker, James Bowen. Busker?? A British term used to refer to someone who makes a living on the street entertaining people through some sort of performance, in the case of Bob’s human, music.
James and Bob adopted each other when Bob showed up at the supported housing program in London where Bowen was working on kicking his meth habit. In spite of Bowen’s efforts to shoo Bob away, Bob had other ideas and kept returning until Bowen took him in after discovering that Bob had no ID and was nursing a wounded leg. To see the whole story watch the movie. We can tell you that the upshot is that Bowen got clean, he and Bob were “discovered”, Bowen has written several books about Bob and they now live the good life. Oops! That should have been preceded by a spoiler alert. Moral of the story: Always be good to the furry critters and rescue and adopt whenever possible!
Oscar, Therapy Cat
Oscar can apparently, predict, with almost 100% accuracy, when a hospice patient is going to die. We included Oscar in our article on therapy animals because his presence also provides comfort to hospice residents. Oscar has been living – and working – at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island since 2005. Oscar apparently takes a nap with the person who is about to die, approximately 2 hours before the death. After this happened several dozen times, when Steere House staff noticed that Oscar was making himself comfortable next to a resident, staff would call the resident’s family members to give them a chance to say their goodbyes. Staff members theorize that Oscar can smell some sort of chemical emitted just prior to death. As stated to Reuters in a 2010 interview with Dr. David Dosa, who worked at Steere House and wrote about Oscar in the New England Journal of Medicine, “I don’t think Oscar is that unique, but he is in a unique environment. Animals are remarkable in their ability to see things we don‘t, be it the dog that sniffs out cancer or the fish that predicts earthquakes. Animals know when they are needed.”
Don’t we know it!
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