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K2

Fans of Kafka and kittens may (must?) enjoy the following:

My intern was particularly impressed by the artistic use made of the hairball: clearly something “in the air” at the current historical moment.  See, for example, the recent excellent article in Modern Cat on how to Celebrate National Hairball Awareness Day in Style:

Speaking of modernity, modern cats, and the historical moment: one thing I wonder every single time I walk around Istanbul is how there are so many cute cats in the street.  In both quality and quantity, the cute cats here by far exceed anything I have seen anywhere else in the world.  Today I decided to look on Google for the answer, which materialized immediately on Fox News (why didn’t I think of this sooner?):

The special status of stray cats in Istanbul and elsewhere in Turkey reflects a tradition-bound country on the path to modernity. It partly derives from Muslim ideas about tolerance, and an urban elite with Western-style ideas about animal rights. It points to the freewheeling side of a society that seeks entry into the European Union’s world of regulation…

In 2004, Erdogan sued a cartoonist for Cumhuriyet newspaper after he depicted the prime minister as a cat entangled in yarn representing Islamic vocational schools that Erdogan backed. The image went to the heart of hostility between fiercely secular elites and Erdogan’s Islamic-oriented government that has since shaped Turkey’s political debate.

It is a real relief to learn that cats, like everything else in Istanbul, are doing their part to represent the tensions between East and West, tradition and modernity, Muslims and “elites,” and lawlessness and the EU.  Keep up the good work, little guys!

anadolu hisari cats

A hard day’s representation at Anadolu Kavağı

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3 Responses to “K2”

  1. Colin Says:

    It had never occurred to me before to be disappointed that Fox News didn’t actually specialize in foxes, not to mention cats and other mammals of the order Carnivora.

  2. Grrg Says:

    Well, it could be worse/better… you could be living in a Turkish city with its very own CAT CONTROVERSY!

  3. Joshua Korn Says:

    I love the sad Kafka-kitten eyes on the cover of that book!

    As you observed in your article on the Kafka trial, we have quite a few cats (domestic and stray/street) in Israel. It must be a reflection of some sociological truth about Israel, but I can’t really put my finger on it. All I know is that it makes taking out the trash a particularly dangerous chore.

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