A few weeks ago, my husband Kurt and I watched “Kedi”, a thoroughly delightful movie about the historic street cats of Istanbul, Turkey. These cats have no defined owners, they are not picked out at animal shelters or pet stores. They wander freely through Istanbul and choose which humans they will visit for food, companionship, and love.
This movie especially spoke to Kurt and me since we have been adopted by a neighborhood cat. One of our neighbors said the cat’s name is Stanley, and that he belongs to the horse farm near our house but visits a rotation of houses on our street.
Around the time my father passed away in December last year, this large black cat with mesmerizing gold eyes began coming to our backdoor several times a week. Increasingly over the first months of this year, he has decided we are his family and spends most of his time with us. Since he has adopted us–as the Istanbul cats have chosen their owners–we have adopted him as well and call him “Kedi”, which is not only the name of the movie we saw, but is Turkish for cat.
The cat-loving people of Istanbul who were interviewed for the movie were amazingly philosophical. Many of them saw their care for a particularly eccentric, gloriously individual cat as the bright spot of their lives. Others explained how they take food around the city to scores of cats and see it as a calling which has saved their lives. I jotted down some of their inspiring words that particularly spoke to me:
You can love if your heart’s eye is open.
Cats carry themselves so well. For cats, existence is enough; not for us, we always want more.
My friends will say that God will provide for the cats, but I say I am the middle man. I had a nervous breakdown, and I healed because of them. They make you fall in love again.
Their problems are like our problems. Solving theirs, we might work together, regain our fading sense of humor, and rekindle our slowly dying sense of life.
See how he comes to me. I thank God for that. I guess I am worthy of his love.
When a cat meows at you, life is smiling at you.
To love is not to own, but to choose to abide in the same place at the same time–to smile and encourage and feed one another’s souls.
For those of you, who would like to smile for a full hour and a half of a movie, watch “Kedi” in its final week at Downtown West Theater in Knoxville, or preorder the video at the following link:
Or you may invite a four-legged loved one into your life to dwell together, and while solving his problems, you can forget the ones that keep you awake at night.
~ Anna 4/30/2017