I saw cats everywhere in Istanbul, including inside the Hagia Sophia and other monuments. After my sister and I left the Chora Church, we came across a park absolutely overrun with cats. Several women seemed to be tending and feeding them.
My sister Maryanne took the picture of me, below, with a couple of park cats. I found the other kitty hanging out at the Hagia Sophia, where it is pictured next to an ancient jar that is carved from a single block of marble.
This handsome cat lives at Topkapi Palace, and is hanging out here at the cafe overlooking the Bosporus on the palace grounds.
These cats were no fools. When they figured out I had no food, they took off. They’re obviously not in it for the petting.
I did not, by the way, see a single dog in Istanbul. The reason may be that dogs are considered unclean in Islam, and Muslims do not generallly keep them as pets.