Chris Davis

Chris Davis

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Istanbul Provides Elaborate Outdoor Cat Houses For Thousands Of Stray Cats

Cat in a Pod

Photo: Getty Images

Here's today's feel-good story:

Istanbul has a population of about 15 million people, all of whom are very relaxed towards stray cats.

A group of volunteers is building elaborate houses for cats, filled with donated food, toys, and cushions.

It all started in 2008 when interior architect Didem Gokgoz was walking through a park on her way to work when she noticed lots of stray cats looking to keep warm for the winter. She tried to help by putting plastic boxes all over the park, but they were removed by the city.

She gradually got to know those that were feeding the cats and helping them out, and came up with a plan.

“There were three of us in the pouring rain: Me, my lawyer friend, and Mr. Mustafa Sarigul [then the Sisli mayor],” Gokgoz said. “We showed him our designs, explained how it would work and everything. Mr. Sarigul listened carefully and said, ‘OK, do it and let’s see; if we think it works, we will support it.'”

After getting the houses up in the local park, Gokgoz was flooded with requests to build more.

Read more here.

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