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Thursday, 23 July 2009


There are cats, and then there are cats. For example, there are Turkish cats, roaming the villages and hills, living off scraps, reproducing madly and costing no-one a penny. Then there is Calli, our previously 5lb cat who has now ballooned to a massive 7lb monstrosity, and has yet again decided that it has been too long between visits to the vet.

Turkish cats are undoubtedly cute, take these adorable kittens for example:

Then there is this wily old hunter, perfectly camouflaged and photographed in the little village of Kalekoy (which means "castle village"), a village unreachable other than by water.

In the larger town of Kas ( pronounced 'cash') groups of opportunists gather in the knowledge that some of the older women feed scraps from the pot as evening falls.

Whatever survival mechanisms these cats employ, one thing is sure - none of them are as valuable, if value is measured in terms of veterinarian bills, as Callisandra Vella, Queen of Large Villas, whose new look is featured below. I would also speculate that none of the Turkish cats would put up with wearing a blue-ish cape if they were Calico - its just so outre.

Calli's new look is the result of her unfailing ability to get into trouble. Usually when this happens, either self or Red are on-hand to climb up ladders, wipe off fox excrement, dig her out of holes or nurse her through the results of her urge to chase pigeons. On this occasion, we were at Stanstead Airport, returning to the UK when I, turning on my phone to check the time, received a frantic phone call from Pte 1st Class Walters, our friend and house sitter.

"Dont panic" says Walters "there's been an accident".

Immediately I felt like enquiring what Calli had done, and immediately I was not disappointed as Pte 1st Class Walters proceeded to explain that Calli had managed, in her usual impetuous manner, to get between the front door and the door frame, on a very windy day, just as she (Walters, not the cat) was admitting herself to the premises. The door was caught by a sudden gust of wind , the tail was trapped and slightly damaged. Despite that we had inadequately described to Walters the cat's propensity for self harm, action taken by said person was immediate, appropriate and entirely correct, so the cat was whisked off to the vet for some minor surgery, which involved a modification to Calli's tail in the longitudinal dimension.

We panicked not and taking advantage of the ludicrous fact that in the UK it is less expensive to rent a car than get the train from London to Hull, we drove home where Calli presented her new look.

Those of you who imagine that I spent an entire vacation taking photographs of cats will be disappointed to learn that I took some other shots as well, mostly of flowers, drunken holiday makers and old buildings. However there were quite a few of these shots, and I've just started editing, so it will take a few days for me to upload. More on Turkey to follow.

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