Who says that cats aren’t as smart as dogs? This momma cat from Istanbul, Turkey was seen carrying her own kitten in her mouth inside a hospital. The cat was definitely a stray and wasn’t known to any of the staff in the hospital which meant that it probably didn’t even live nearby.
Yet, for some reason, the animal just knew that this was the place for her to bring her sick kitten. Not only did the momma cat show up at the front door, she boldly went inside the hospital and started looking around until it found the emergency room.
Granted, the cat certainly didn’t know the difference between the hospital wards but nevertheless, she got to the ER. Once there, the emergency paramedics from the hospital gathered around the animal, took the sickly kitten from her, and “admitted” it for an examination – no insurance needed and no “out of pocket” expenses either.
The story was shared on Twitter by Merve Özcan and quickly gained a lot of attention. Even if we don’t know Turkish, however, the pictures themselves are more than heartwarming – from the mother cat sitting her kitten, guarding her until the paramedics got ready to help them to the nurses redirecting her to where she needed to go, it was all done as if she was a human patient.
Turns out that this is basically the norm in Turkey
While countries in Eastern Europe are often criticized for their lack of control of cat and dog strays (i.e. for not spraying and castrating stray animals), Istanbul may be worth a special mention. Because while the huge metropolis also has an abundance of stray animals, they seem to have a special attitude toward them – street cats and dogs all across the city are always well taken care of, there are feeding bowls and stations for such animals on every other corner, and they are almost always given places to sleep in people’s basements and backyards.
This tradition is so well established that there are even movies about it such as the film Kedi by Oscilloscope Laboratories. Of course, this does bring the question of why aren’t people spraying the strays? Surely, that’s an easier way to fix the problem?
Well, for the people of Istanbul that’s not as clear. For them, several other factors seem much more compelling:
- Stray animals help keep the city clear of any rats and other pests which is quite an essential service considering that the city lies on the Bosphorus strait and is literally located on two continents and two seas at the same time.
- Many people in Turkey, as in the rest of Eastern Europe, feel that spraying and castrating animals is a violation of their rights and isn’t really humane.
- Tradition – whatever we say about it, most aspects of life in Istanbul are governed by tradition.
What happened to the mother cat and her kitten?
Unfortunately, the heartwarming story’s ending isn’t really clear. From Merve Özcan’s photos, we know that the kitten was admitted into the hospital and given a checkup. We also know that the mother cat was patiently waiting outside of the ER, while receiving ample pets and water. Merve Özcan also said that the paramedics eventually got the kitten to a nearby veterinary clinic for an expert’s opinion and took the mother cat with them.
This is where we lose the thread, however, as it’s unclear what exactly was wrong with the kitten and whether the vets and paramedics managed to help the little fellow.
Another unclear and possibly heartbreaking question is – what about the rest of the cat’s litter? Cats rarely have just a single kitten. Strays, in particular, typically have 4-7 kittens per litter, twice a year. This can mean a couple of different things – either 1) the entire rest of the litter was already dead from something and this was the mother’s last kitten or 2) she had to leave the rest of her litter alone for hours while waiting for the one sickly kitten to be “released” from the hospital. Both options aren’t very comforting.
Whatever the case, we can hope that everything was all right with the momma cat and her little kitten. Moreover, it’s still fascinating that the loving mother had the ingenuity to not only seek help but go to a hospital’s ER. Leave it to animals to always find a way to astonish us.