Kitty kingdom: Woman in northwest Turkey keeps house with dozens of cats
YALOVA - Anadolu Agency
A woman in northwestern Turkey has turned her house into a kind of menagerie solely devoted to sheltering and feeding dozens and dozens of cats.
Hamide Boran, 52, lives in a two-story house in a city on the eastern coast of the Sea of Marmara. She has been without human housemates since her husband died six years ago. But she has not been lone.
One entire floor of her house is dedicated to its feline residents, an area that scarcely contains its 65 cats. Boran told state-run Anadolu Agency that the cats have been “very good friends” to her.
“My late husband had cancer, we lost him to a brain tumor,” she recalled.
“A cat was resting on his arm when he passed away. We couldn’t get it to move.
When her husband died, the cat refused to eat or drink anything for three months, and eventually it died too.
“After that, the cats became my only friends,” Boran said.
‘Cats come first’
She said at first nobody wanted to rent an apartment to her because of the cats, but eventually she found a freestanding house with two floors.
Boran lives on the first floor, while the ground floor has become a kitty kingdom.
She lets the cats out, and if they make a mess in other people’s yards, she cleans up after them.
Formerly a cleaner, she now survives on her modest monthly pension of 350 Turkish liras ($93), with her grown sons helping to cover the food and rent.
As Boran also suffers from lung disease and diabetes, doctors have urged her not to take care of so many cats, but she says she cannot help herself.
“The doctor told me: ‘You mustn’t let cats near you,’ as I suffer from COPD [Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease],” she said.
“I sleep with the cats. I can starve, but my cats must have full stomachs.”
Boran said some of her feline friends suffer from cancer, are paralyzed, or blind.
She said she would continue looking after the cats as long as the grace of God allows her.
“They are my sweethearts, my everything. I love them like my own children,” Boran added.