Garden of a Departed Cat…*

This city is full of cats…
This city is completed with cats…
Cats are intrinsic part of this city…

Cats resemble İstanbul… İstanbul resembles cats…

There lived a fair cat here. Because of his chubby body and his white, thick, long fur I likened him to a polar bear. Or a lamb… We were afraid one day someone would mistake him for a lamb and attempt to eat him!

Serene would be the perfect adjective to describe him: he was free of naughtiness, his fur and almond shaped-round eyes was shining bright, he was an archetype of quietude…

To be honest he was a bit (ok…ok… not a bit, but very) coward. Timorous lets say… He cowered when he saw someone suddenly or when someone tried to pat him or talked to him. First he should had observed you to make sure that you were ‘harmless’ only after this he’d jump in your lap and let you pat him. Without exception he’d treat everyone as such, including his housemate/mother Sevin. Sevin telling “It has been 13 years, Şapşi! For once recognize me!” whenever he cowered when he saw her was a kind of ritual: )
Oh no! Once he made an exception! He came into the room and directly jumped into my cousin’s lap! It was the first time these two saw each other… yet he didn’t need time to see that she was ‘harmless’: )
And when he seated himself in a lap, he would never want to leave: ) If he was in my lap, he’d climb slowly up to my shoulder, curled there and slept! I never understood why he did it. Maybe because I never pushed him out of my lap or maybe because he liked to sleep covered with my hair. Whatever the reason was I remember how we (I on foot and awake, he on my shoulder and sleeping) went around in the house or from the house to the garden, vice versa.

It was a pleasure to see how happy he became when he seated himself in a lap…
It was a pleasure to pat his chubby paws…
It was a pleasure to see him making himself comfortable in my lap… and then him climbing on my shoulders slowly, step by step, trying to conceal what he was doing…
It was indeed a pleasure to discover that he was looking for playing with threads…
It was a pleasure to watch him playing with red or purple threads, jumbing with his fat ass, catching threads with his chubby paws…
It was a pleasure to meet him…

Now he is sleeping soundly at the corner of the little garden he had enjoyed and loved.

Şapşi, whereever you are, I wish you’ll always find a comfortable lap to sleep, long curly hair to cover yourself with, purple and red threads to play with…
We all miss you… a lot…

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* Title is inspired by Bilge Karasu’s exquisite book “Göçmüş Kediler Bahçesi” (“Garden of the Departed Cats”)

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