Taksim Metro Cat

Over the past few days a video has gone viral (link to the video at the end of this story), showing up on newsfeed on my various social media more than a few times.  That video is the latest kitty internet sensation – Taksim Metro Cat.  A cat that gives no shits about you… or you… or even you!

Taksim kedi

Anyone who has ever visited Istanbul (or Turkey for that matter) knows how much Turkish people just love their kediler.  They are everywhere and they are treated with a lot of love and respect despite the fact that they can go from zero to grade A jerks in a heartbeat.  One of the most famous Türk kedileri is the Hagia Sophia Kedi, a little cross-eyed tabby who is so beloved that he has fan sites where people can upload photos of him.  Now there is another famous kedi here in Turkey.  Introducing Taksim Metro Cat and I had the great pleasure of bumping into her a few times during my week in Istanbul.

She favours two spots.  Both of them extremely inconvenient for the commuter as they are both on upward riding escalators.  Our first encounter was as we stopped to visit the Republic Monument at Taksim Square. There she was, this pretty little calico chilling by the Metro exit, just as she was in that video.  People dodged her as she lay stretched out giving silent, judgmental stares to those who nearly tripped over her. At first, I was worried that she would be trampled but, again as you see in the video, she is totally relaxed and loving the chaos she was causing.

The next time we crossed paths she was inside, again chilling on the upward riding escalator but at least indoors (it was the one day it snowed for a full minute while we were there).  Taksim Metro Cat knew the weather outside was frightful and was very content to sit and be petted as we passed.

The final time we saw Taksim Metro Cat she was doing the lazy cat equivalent of hunting.  You know how they go.  They make a little effort, they do the crazy cry, and then they roll over and let the pigeon continue on its way, oblivious to its close demise.

For those of you who are concerned about her welfare, she is one very happy little cat. A stray animal here in Turkey is not the same as a stray anywhere else.  Here they are loved.  Taksim Metro Cat is very well looked after. Her fur is soft and clean.  Her eyes are bright.  She is quite a tubby girl and I’m pretty sure she has been desexed as her ear was clipped.  On researching Taksim Metro Cat I found there are lots of people who feed her and many photos of her chilling out welcoming the commuters and tourists each day and even you guys are adding photos of her on my FB page.  Okay, maybe she’s not welcoming, rather she is just making a kitty nuisance of herself and having kitty fun tripping unsuspecting people up as they pass. Why does she love the escalator so much?  I’m guessing that grate is warm from the engine underneath. She is quite content.

This is one cool cat people and if any of you happen to be visiting Istanbul go up and introduce yourself.  She might ignore you but at least you can say you had a brush with fame while on your travels!

And today Taksim Metro Cat got her very own report on Anadolu Kedisi.  Click on the link and see all the fabulous photos and the actual video at the bottom.  Like me you will no doubt laugh at the reaction of the woman in the pink joggers “Bu kadar?” Hahaha!

Have you seen the Turkish documentary “Kedi”?  If not, you should grab a copy today –


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Five things in Istanbul

Daughter was five the first time I took her to Istanbul.  Usually we would travel straight through to Adana but as she was a little older it was time to explore her second (now first) home.  I have mentioned to you before that when Daughter and I travel together it is her job to find us 5 things to do together and 3 of them have to be free or a minimal cost.  This encouraged Daughter to want to learn about each city we visited and to have a better appreciation at each location.  It always worked beautifully with her and even now she utilises this skill regularly to learn more about a place or thing.

Daughter’s list of five things to do in Istanbul:

Basilica Cistern  


This is always number 1 on our list and each year this still is our first stop in Istanbul.  Why?  It is an extraordinary underground water cistern containing 300 plus marble columns to keep the ceiling up.  It’s atmosphere is made more unique with “creepy” lighting, the occasional surprise of really cold water dripping from the vaulted ceiling and ghostly shadows this place is mysterious enough for Daughter to be enamoured with exploring every inch.  Hint: Each time we go there Daughter has to re-discover the Medusa Head in the north eastern corner.  Throw a coin and make a wish.


Grand Bazaar 

Daughter loves to shop.  Daughter loves souvenirs.  Daughter loves a brand.  And if Daughter can get a name brand without the name cost she will.  With hidden doorways and tiny exotic shops the Bazaar is a mini city in itself and getting lost in the labyrinth and chaos of the Bazaar is part of its charm, especially for kids.  Hint:  I make a visit to the Bazaar a scavenger hunt.  Deciding beforehand what “souvenir” Daughter wants she has to locate the treasure and barter with the shopkeepers.  Originally it was to practice her Turkish but now it is to bag a bargain!


Constantine Walls

The walls were started by Emperor Constantine in 324AD and extended around the city to protect its people from invasion.  They were often attacked but when you are standing at the bottom looking up that these walls you wonder how on earth they were breached – and they were breached – notably by the Fourth Crusades and the Ottomans.   Start at Yedikule Fortress and you can walk for hours along or beside these gorgeous ancient walls.  Best of all – it’s free!  Hint:  There are so many other things to do along the way with parks, shopping and secret laneways.  Daughter would happily walk for hours and not complain (well not often anyway).


Suleymaniye Mosque

mosque 4

I clearly recall the first time I took Daughter here.  She was agog with its grandeur, its size   and its colour.  It was unlike anything she had seen before.  Entering the dome of the mosque she quietly watched the faithful at prayer – again so different to anything she had seen before.  After leaving the mosque we sat in the walled garden and talked about Islam giving her the opportunity to learn a little about their beliefs and lifestyle.  Hint: Returning home we purchased ceramic tiles and created our own masterpiece along the same styling as those seen at this iconic destination.


Dolmabache Palace


At 5 Daughter had dreams of becoming a princess and living in a palace and she insisted that we visit Topkapi Palace.  Unfortunately her idea of a palace did not coincide with what she viewed at Topkapi and we only ever visited the Palace that one time.  I did, however, take her to Dolmabache Palace the next day.  This was definitely a more romantic Palace and more to the liking of a 5 year old who expected grandeur and pomp.  Hint:  Viewing this Palace from the Bosphorus gives us an idea of its size and amazing architecture.  Cruising the Bosphorus is also another day trip in itself so give yourself lots of time.  At 11 Daughter’s interests have changed so Dolmabache Palace is no longer on our list.  This has been replaced with a trip down Istiklal Caddesi.  Why?  Shopping, of course.  Istiklal Caddesi is also great with its historic tram.  Don’t forget you need a card to ride it, they don’t accept cash.


Bonus: Don’t miss the Whirling Dervishes at the Hocapasa Cultural Centre.  Daughter’s first experience watching that was enough to bring tears of laughter.  She was mesmerized and, upon returning to our hotel, tried as hard as she could to whirl and twirl but spent most of her time falling on her bum.

Children love to explore and to learn.  I think empowering your child to do the research gives them more appreciation and understanding of their surroundings.  Daughter is extremely lucky to travel to such destinations but if she does not learn about them, their history and their story, then there is no point in taking her there.  Frankly it would be a waste of my time and my money.


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Weekly Photo Contest – Objects

I took this photo on Wednesday morning.  A dreary day in Istanbul with the temperature sitting at 3 degrees Celsius.  Our time was limited though so despite the cold Daughter and I roamed the city exploring. The colour of the tram stood out to me and I quickly snapped this photo as we dodged the crowds down Istiklal Caddesi.