I’m back — not that anyone probably noticed I was gone for a few years. Got too busy with work. But, now I have more time and I would like to express myself.
This afternoon my son and I took a break from all the dreadful posturing about the “Wealthcare Act” and other disheartening news emanating from the new “administration” and went to see a movie about cats. In Istanbul. In Turkish with subtitles. It was delightful — a balm for the spirit on a too-cold day.
The film followed seven semi-feral cats — feral in the sense that no one “owned” them, but not feral in the sense of being wild — and the ordinary people who cared for them. It was really nice to see a grizzled shopkeeper cuddle a cat, or take a kitten to the vet after an accident. There was a man in a boat — fisherman? we weren’t told quite what it was he did — with luxuriant hair, who very sweetly and openly kissed one of the cats he had with him on a trip over the water. Generally the cats had their own agendas and schedules, which the humans observed but did not attempt to control. They allowed them their independence.
I was quite impressed with how strongly they all felt about the cats, and what lengths some of the people went to on their behalf. And, what they thought about the cats’ relationship to humans, and their future in an area under development pressure — some of it was quite poetic. No one came across as a crusader. They just loved the cats who shared their city.
For all our fondness for animals in America, it seemed to me that these Istanbul cats lived on a much more equal footing with humans. They treated them more like adults, where we tend to infantilize our pets. If you can find this movie, go see it — it’s a great antidote to current events.
Update: my theater brought “Kedi” back! Maybe they decided to do this when they found out how people were staying away in droves from “Song to Song” — they had told me they had to let “Kedi” go because of the big new openings coming up. Hah.