Cats to meow in Istanbul’s Pera Film

Cats to meow in Istanbul’s Pera Film

Cats to meow in Istanbul’s Pera Film

A year ago Pera Museum’s permanent film space Pera Film presented heart-warming stories about dogs with “Tales of Tails: Dogs on Screen.” This time its new program for the New Year pays tribute to one of the most intriguing and mystical creatures of all: cats.

Pera Film’s “Cat Got Your Tongue?” program will shed light on cinema’s recent cat stories. From France to Japan, Turkey and the U.S., films from diverse countries will bring movie-goers closer to these magical, perplexing creatures.

Established in 2008, Pera Film aspires to promote a range of films, including cinema classics, animation, documentaries, short films and experimental films, while film events, such as the cat-themed one, showcase the variety and importance of cinema, according to the organization’s website.

Although thousands of years have passed since cats were first domesticated in Ancient Egypt, the fascination never ceases to grow.

A variety of urban legends have traversed the centuries from across the world. In some areas of Europe, pregnant women were discouraged from picking up a cat or letting it sleep in her lap.

In Portugal, folklore once said that the cat would afflict the baby with a wart or mole, usually a hairy one, while in England, the baby was said to be born with a either cat-shaped birthmark or the face of a cat.

Medieval people thought that cats were the devil’s personal soul courier and ferried spirits to Hell. The Japanese believe that cats are lucky. The maneki-neko (“beckoning cat”) is an iconic Japanese talisman that supposedly brings good fortune to its owner, usually in the form of cash.

Buddhist believe that cats with a dark coat bring promises of gold, while light-colored cats bring silver. And the stories go on.

The program will run from Jan. 12 and Feb. 4 at the Pera Museum in Istanbul.