So, today there is quite a bit of snow in Istanbul, and I have the day off. Seeing as it's snowing outside, I decided it was the perfect day to sit down, write, and just watch the snowflakes drift down outside the window. But what to write about? I thought about things that might have had a strong influence on my time in Istanbul that maybe I hadn't thought about as necessarily "blog worthy." Something that might be a little different. Then, the lightbulb turns on - I've got to write about Kötü.
For those who don't know, Kötü is our adorable, fun-loving Turkish kitten (or at least he was a kitten, he is something closer to adolescence now). And, for the record, Kötü means "bad" in Turkish, so we thought it was appropriate for this mischievous little fellow. And, the most important factor in calling him Kötü was that he came at a bad time, as we literally couldn't have had more on our plate at the time.
But, back to the story. When we first arrived at our apartment in Istanbul with all of our bags, a small, dirty kitten started to cry out and rub up against Bri's leg. At first, we thought nothing too much of it, but we surely appreciated his cuteness and tenacity. We began bringing our bags up the stairs, and we could still hear him crying outside the door, desperately trying to get in. As we came down the stairs to get our final bag, he was still there, looking saddened and helpless. We started bringing the last bag up the stairs but by the second flight we had put down the bag and stopped. We decided we would at least bring him up for 10 minutes. And just like that 10 minutes became five months. And, assuredly, he'll be coming with us wherever we go after Istanbul. We didn't find Kötü, Kötü found us.
He's a Turkish Van, an appropriate cat to have in Istanbul if I've ever seen one. He has added so much to our experience in Istanbul, and we've created a lot of memories together. I can still recall the first night when he arrived and couldn't figure out where to go to the bathroom because we didn't yet have a litter box. He was meowing like mad as he looked over his shoulder and pooped in the corner of our second bedroom. And now? Now he's the regal kitty I see staring out the window at the snow just to the right of me. He's got a litter box now, assuredly, and he's come a long way.
So, what is this post going to look like? Well, I'm going to tell you the story of Kötü through words and photos, to give you an idea of what a big part he has played in my experience in Istanbul. Who knows if it can be filed nicely into the "travel writing" category, and, frankly, who cares?
Also, kindly note that a lot of these photos are from my iPhone, so my apologies on the quality.
1) From the Mean Streets to Our Loving Arms
Kötü starts off as just about the dirtiest and scrawniest kitten you've ever laid your eyes upon. In the pictures below, you'll see him as we first found him, and how he adjusted to our home in the first few weeks. He's a character, and a fighter.
2) Settling In
Kötü starts to get the routine, and, dare I say, starts to show some love. In fact, from the beginning, this Turkish kitty has always been very loving and sentimental, but, he starts to show even more of that. He cuddles more, he gets a much needed bath, acts as my Turkish tutor, and even becomes adept at using the iPad (please see video below for evidence of that).
3) Coming into his Own
Kötü has become a fixture in this household, and, especially during the holiday season, was the star of the show. We had a Christmas party in which he was surely the most popular individual. Also, he figured out how to send mail, how to climb the Christmas tree, pose for family photos, and, generally, continue to look even happier and healthier. And, I should also note, he's even had an international skype call with friends abroad.
Kötü is not a place, this is true, but he still belongs on this travel blog because of the drastic effect he has had on Istanbul for me. For as long as I live, wherever I live, animals will always be a part of my life (and Kötü is no exception, he's in it for the long haul). So, just maybe, they'll be featured on this travel blog.
I do hope you've enjoyed getting to know Kötü, and hope to see you back here again sometime soon.
Have any animal stories to share? Write them in the comments section, I would love to hear them.