There is a park less than 15 minutes from our apartment that we have affectionately named the ‘Cat Park’. This park is technically in Nisantasi, and is often overlooked in contrast to Macka Park, which is a much larger park directly below it. However, we love this park. Not only is there a fountain, trees and two cafes, there are also numerous cats.
As many of you know, I love cats. Most Turks do not feel this way. Like many Middle Eastern countries, the majority of cats and dogs in Istanbul do not lead comfortable spoiled lives. They live on the streets, they dig (and sleep) in garbage and scrounge for food. However, this particular park can be considered cat paradise for Istanbul cats. They roam free in a beautiful park. Local residents bring them food (everything from milk to meat to bread), and have even built special homes for them. And the cats themselves? They are friendly and affectionate. You cannot sit down in this park without being surrounded by 4-5 cats. They purr, they play and they crawl into your lap. We come to this park at least once a week simply to pay a visit to our feline friends…