We saw dozens of street cats during our week in Istanbul. They stalked the city’s cobbled alleys, waited for scraps under the white tablecloths of seafood restaurants, and sunned on the hoods of parked cars.
No one seemed to mind them. Shops allowed the cats to sleep in their doorways. Waiters ignored the furry beggars. Residents left out small bowls of food and milk on their back stoops.
It's believed the Prophet Muhammad liked – or at least tolerated – cats, and they’ve always been welcome in Istanbul, a predominantly Muslim society.