Owning a pet in Turkey has just become considerably more difficult thanks to new laws that have recently come into effect. Before you can purchase an animal you are now required to undergo training on how to look after the animal and also prove that you have suitable accommodation and means to look after your new addition before the final sale can proceed. Oh the law also says that if you have sex with an animal you go to gaol. Fair call.
I love the idea of this law however I cannot imagine the difficulty in policing the law (the training before purchase law not the sex law although I expect the sex law would be difficult to police also unless you were caught in the act so to speak). Anyone who has been to Turkey is well aware of the number of strays that roam the streets in any city or town and frankly pet food is so expensive I cannot imagine the average family being able to afford the weekly food bill for their pet (I often baulk when I see the cost of Whiskers or Pal here in Mersin).
In the Village there is a huge number of stray cats, in fact I am starting to think that people are depositing their strays at our house knowing that they will be fed as the number of kittens just seems to keep growing. The Turk is literally having a breakdown every time he does a head count. We have taken 4 females so far to the vet to be de-sexed but with the addition of at least 8 kittens in the garden and general vicinity I expect we will need to make a few more trips before all the females are sorted. The vet that we have been using has been incredibly generous with his time. He originally saw Stanley when he broke his tail and again when he broke his leg *sigh* plus the 4 females being fixed and a handful of kittens for shots. I asked him if he could try and find good homes for the kittens but alas he cannot as the new laws make it too difficult for anyone to purchase an animal through the “usual means”. Of course this means that the black market trade will begin to boom for animals trafficking which is incredibly sad to say as there is absolutely no control over this.
There are also a large number of stray dogs (sometimes 5-10 strays) who seem to congregate in the maydanoz (parsley) across the street each morning. This little gang of four legged friends meet just before dawn and frolic together for a good 30-40 minutes before returning to their respective homes, parks, beach or wherever it is that these dogs live during the day. My Hurley Dog goes crazy when he sees them but I am unsure whether he wants to join in or kill them all (Small Dog Syndrome and all that). There are a few good souls that feed the dogs but dog strays do not seem to last very long around here. I don’t know whether they move on or pass away but there seems to be a large turnover in the stray dogs around the village.
We feed the cats each evening a concoction which I have christened the “Kedi Mix”. It contains our left over dinner (and possibly our neighbour’s left overs as well) along with cat biscuits and the odd sachet of cat meat. If The Turk is feeling generous he will go to the fish markets and purchase a kilo of their cheapest fish for 1-2TL. This “Kedi-Mix” usually lasts a couple of days before we need to make more.
The Turk with his “Kedi Mix”
With Daughter and I leaving in two weeks The Turk will continue to look after the Village Kedi’s including my favourite stray “Evil” and her baby “Baby Evil”. Evil is My Kedi Cat’s BFF and has been living in the stairwell with her baby but last night she moved out and they have now taken up residence in the chilli plants in our garden.
Baby Evil is still incredibly tiny but seems healthy enough. She is starting to play and toddle around but is very unsteady on her feet. Hopefully when we return she will be running around with the other kittens and strong enough to survive on her own.
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TELL YOUR FRIENDS! SERIOUSLY, TELL THEM. NOW!