The cat is the only animal without visible means of support who still manages to find a living in the city.
~Carl van Vechten
This quote could not be more true than in Istanbul. There are feral cats everywhere! Some are healthy and friendly, others look sick and beaten up, but all are regularly looked after by good Samaritans throughout the city. You might see a restaurant owner shooing a cat from the front door, or the fish merchant scaring away another one lurking on a window ledge, but not far around the corner, you will also find a bowl of cat food placed thoughtfully in a doorway or corner.
You know how it is with cats: They don’t really have owners, they have staff.
Brenden and I were in Istanbul for only a day or so when I decided to start photographing the cats we found throughout our sightseeing adventures around the city. It was amusing to see how these feral cats lived so harmoniously with the humans and the busy city life around them. Despite the noise, traffic, and people, these cats were friendly and would often approach us for a quick scratch or pet. There were a couple of cats that I wished I could have taken home.
Beware of people who dislike cats!
Cat lover or not, I think any visitor to this flamboyant city will find the tolerance and respect of the feline community here endearing.