Caturday felids: Canadian women recovers missing cat–after 12 years; Arizona cathouse; interview with director of the hit cat movie “Kedi”

From the CBC News, we have a story of a lost cat returning home after the longest interval I’ve heard of: twelve years! And it was not just in CANADA, but in Winnipeg, where Gus lives. Here are some details:

Freda Watson was devastated when her cat, George, went missing 12 years ago in Winnipeg, saying she cried a long time for the pet she affectionately called her “little boy.”

She was crying again on Thursday when the pair was reunited.

“Oh my god, I can’t believe I got my cat back,” Watson said in an interview on Friday. “We love George. He’s my little boy.”

George was found wandering the street near Grant Avenue earlier this week and taken to the Winnipeg Humane Society. Staff there found a faded tattoo and began investigating to decipher it and find the owner.

Watson’s last name, address and phone number had all changed since the time George slipped out of her Weston-area home past a babysitter. It was Watson’s former sister-in-law who got the message from the Humane Society, and she in turn called Watson.

“I said, ‘Are you serious?'” Watson recalled. “I couldn’t sleep the night before. I was crying that night and I was crying in the morning.”

Here are the reunited pair of George and Freda (George looks very surprised). I wonder where he’d been. The story adds “Watson, who got George when he was just four weeks old and bottle-fed him in those early days, says someone must have been caring for him over the years, because he’s in good shape.”

Freda Watson holds George on the day she was reunited with him at the Winnipeg Humane Society. (Winnipeg Humane Society/Facebook)

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As reported in the HuffPo, you can now buy a house full of cat stuff for $240,000. It’s in Arizona:

A 2,500-square-foot home in the Arizona desert is sending cat lovers into a catnip-style frenzy. Nearly every indoor surface is covered in cat images or paraphernalia, thanks to a previous owner who spent a decade plastering photos and memorabilia to the walls, listing agent Elizabeth Keller told HuffPost.

The home has two bedrooms and one bathroom, plus at least 12 cat condos, according to Arizona Central. It’s an “extremely fun home,” per its listing with Century 21.

“If you love cats this is the home for you! If not, bring your sandblaster!” the listing reads. Notable features include “cat walkways” and a “Medieval cat castle with different levels (stone).”

And there’s no cat odor inside, even though the previous owner had three cats.

The outside (all photos courtesy Century 21):

Views of the inside:

 

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Finally, if you haven’t seen the movie Kedi, about the street cats of Istanbul, do so immediately (I believe reader Charleen is doing so today). It’s highly rated and I can’t wait to see it. It has a 98% critics’ rating and an 89% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and those are very high marks.

The June 18 Guardian has an interview with Ceyda Torun, the director, who says she made “a love letter to the city and the cats.” The article notes that Kedi, which means “cat” in Turkish, was described by IndieWire as “the Citizen Kane of cat documentaries”.

I’ve visited Istanbul several times and have been struck by the number of street cats and mosque cats, and the fact that they’re usually in pretty good condition.

Here’s a bit of Torun’s interview:

Why are there so many street cats in the city?
There are a few reasons. There’s the historical factors – that cats have been in this geography for so long. We interviewed a veterinary zoologist who showed us a cat skeleton that had been found while building the new tunnel under the Bosphorus. It was from 3,500 years ago and had a break in the thigh bone that could only have healed like that if a human had wrapped its leg. So his theory was that this relationship – tending to cats and cats helping us fend off mice – goes back to at least then.

Then there’s the Islamic element: cats are highly revered in Islam and there are multiple references to the prophet Muhammad having a cat. Often, people use that to justify taking care of them. There are people who don’t like cats and are bothered by others taking care of them, but [their frustration] is more a reflection of the city’s overcrowding, I think – the population has gone from 4 million in my childhood to close to 20 million now.

What do the cats mean to the people of Istanbul?
There’s nobody here that doesn’t have a memory of cats: no grandmother, no generation has been here without cats, so they’re ingrained in our collective memory. People tend to be in awe of the freedom cats have, their ability to go in and out of almost anywhere. They show up in political situations, universities; they go in and out of places that are forbidden or dangerous for humans. And cats provide this wonderful opportunity for people in Istanbul to pick a moment to be affectionate with a being that doesn’t judge them, that doesn’t have complicated human relationship issues. We have a lot of “cat daddies”.

And a picture of the director:

Photograph: Selçuk Şamiloğlu

And Kedi’s two-minute trailer:

And here’s a picture I took at the Şehzade Mosque in Istanbul in 2008; note that the cat is in good nick:

h/t: Taskin, Jon

16 Comments

  1. Phil Rounds
    Posted July 1, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Cats tolerate us because we’re big and we give them stuff. They’re not pack animals, so we’re not seen as alphas of their group as with dogs. We’re more like perpetual moms for them. I remember reading somewhere that if domestic cats were the size of lions, we would appear to them as a tasty snack.

    I have 3 cats. Any one of them will flay you if you touch their back feet!

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted July 1, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    $240,000 for the cat house in Arizona. Location, location.

  3. rickflick
    Posted July 1, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    As a kid, our cat went missing for several weeks. The household was charged with considerable anxiety. When she returned we were ecstatic. Pets can suck the life right out of you when the are lost or die, but they also give life enchanting new dimensions. Very much worth while.

  4. jwthomas
    Posted July 1, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    The documentary “Kedi” is online here: http://tinyurl.com/yb2ftcdd

    • Posted July 1, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      I suspect that that link is either illegal, requires you to pay, or gives you malware (I didn’t investigate further.) On this site I don’t endorse watching movies illegally, and if anybody deserves pecuniary fruits from their work, it’s the people who made “Kedi”.

      • Derek Freyberg
        Posted July 1, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        When I clicked on the trailer and watched it through, I was given a link to the whole movie on “YouTube Red” (YouTube’s premium channel), with a free one-week trial. A story in Variety online says that YouTube has acquired streaming rights. So it looks as if it’s possible to see the movie free and legally through YouTube.

      • jwthomas
        Posted July 1, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Yes, though the movie is allegedly “free” you have to register and post your credit card information in order to see the movie. It’s likely just a scam to get the CC info so I opted not to register. It looks like the YouTube RED option is the only one available now.

  5. Jenny Haniver
    Posted July 1, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    What the heck is that rooster doing nomming with those cats in the photo of the director? Nomming and NOT being nommed.

    When I was a child, we once had a cat, an unaltered male, that disappeared for years. We were sure that he’d been killed. Three or four years later, we discovered him in the back yard. He’d come home to die.

  6. Draken
    Posted July 1, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    If a ‘hit man’ movie is about a professional human assassin, then a ‘hit cat’ movie is about… hmmm…

    • BJ
      Posted July 1, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Every cat is a professional assassin; one need not add the “hit” 🙂

  7. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted July 1, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Maybe tattoos for cats are not such a good idea. After 12 years, George, now probably renamed Zaphod, was probably adopted by another cat lady or maybe even a family with children who are now devastated that Zaphod had gone missing. Meanwhile the original owner of George might just as easily been mollified (molly-fied? See what I did there?) with another, possibly younger cat with the same markings as George. 🙂

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted July 1, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I hope the Humane Society put some effort into locating George’s current caregivers before handing him over to a woman who’s been absent from the last 85% of his life.

  8. Posted July 1, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Our cat is judgemental, and has quite a complex relationship with humans.

  9. bluemaas
    Posted July 1, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    http://www.kedifilm.com = includes the youtube RED
    linkage and a schedule in re the theatres
    at where to go to view the film.

    Mz Gemma Gillian

    (I am the new – old [ 11 years young ! ]
    rescue who came late last month
    to own Blue. (er, this specific
    Independence Day weekend she wants to be,
    instead, shimmering Sapphire ! Go figure)

  10. philfinn7
    Posted July 1, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    I have seen Kedi twice now. Once in Brisbane and once in Singapore. I lived in Istanbul for four years so for me the scenery was more important than the cats. (Am I banned now?) Some of the cat names are interesting- there is a grey called Duman (smoky) and a nonchalant cat called Gamsiz (doesn’t give a damn). There is also Psykopat – you can guess. And in two scenes there is a graffito on the wall in the background. It is a dig at the President, Erdogan, with a bit of a play on his name. Watch for it. I’m sure it was deliberate.

    • bluemaas
      Posted July 1, 2017 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      Accurate as can be: the “doesn’t give a
      damn” – assessment.

      I myself, instead of any of my kitty cats,
      was recently asked to take the Meowers Briggs
      Personality Test. I complied.

      At its scale’s scoring – end, it was
      concluded that I / my personality was that
      most like the one of Gamsiz.

      Sapphire


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