Friday, 4 October 2013

Mystic Cat Device and Istanbul's DIY Cat Shelters

In 2011, I came across this strange cat-like device in Cihangir, one of Istanbul's posh "intellectual" neighbourhoods. The mystifying machine looked like a toy, or some weird kind of Hello Kitty memorabilia. It was attached to the entrance of an underground parking lot.


 I asked some people working at the parking lot about the device and they illuminated my mystery; the thing was an ultrasonic cat repellent. When cats triggered the attached motion sensor, the device warded the felines off with a loud frequency that only they could hear.


Istanbul, and Turkey in general, is very cat-friendly. There are thousands of the cute animals in the streets and they are almost always well-fed by the people in their neighborhoods. One wonders why this came to be so; few other places on Earth are so friendly to cats. A hint may come from the story of Muezza, the Islamic prophet's pet cat. Following the Prophet's tradition, Turkish Muslims may have treated cats better than the most.


Makeshift cat shelters in many street corners are another evidence of the love Turkish people have for these animals. In certain cases, the shelters' DIY architecture was also quite interesting to behold.



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