Among the countless selfies, food photos, and photo dumps, one category emerges as the cutest on Instagram – kitty and puppy pics.
Posts of poodles wearing French berets on the streets of Paris or curious Coons napping in the strangest of spots seem to draw more attention than anything the algorithm sends our way on a regular. Why’s that, though?
T.S. Elliot, a famous American poet, once wrote, “You now have learned enough to see that cats are much like you and me.” Elliot was onto something considering that we’ve come to terms with the fact that cats are the ones that run the Internet.
When you take a peep at the statistics you might notice that people search for dogs more than cats on Google, there are more dog videos than cat videos on Youtube, and there are more puppy pics than kitty pics on Instagram.
With that out of the way, though, cats are the ones that take the Internet by storm on a regular. From a cute Ragdoll named Puff with over 22 million subscribers on her Youtube channel called That Little Puff to Nala Cat with over 4.5 million followers on Instagram, there’s no question that cats reign supreme on social media.
Photographers around the world know what’s up, too, and don’t shy away from going through thick and thin to capture the purrfect cat photo. Whether they’re photographing cats around the neighborhood or traveling to different countries and capturing the purrecious moments on the way.
One of these photographers, who goes by the name Orin, managed to capture what most photographers can only dream of. Orin’s a photographer from California who happens to be a world traveler, too.
On top of that, Orin’s a huge kitty and puppy guy that wouldn’t shy away from getting one of the two. However, he’s scared that he wouldn’t be able to take care of them considering he’s always on the road.
Of course, Orin stumbles upon a myriad of cats and dogs that aren’t fans of getting photographed or approached by a strange guy who wants to pet them or take them to a rescue. Orin’s lonely at times, but the strays don’t want to hang out with him because they’re scared of humans for one reason or the other.
Now, here’s where the story gets better – Orin went to Istanbul, Turkey, for two weeks and was taken aback by the number of cats that were roaming the streets. People of Istanbul were taking care of them, feeding them, and playing with them and the cats were accustomed to that type of attention and affection.
Orin couldn’t fathom the fact that these cats weren’t as skittish as the cats in other countries – they’d come running, meowing, and demanding attention from left and right. They’d expose their bellies and beg for rubs. They’d roll on the ground and purr. They’d even follow Orin no matter where he went.
Orin was fascinated by the Istanbul cats’ comfortable nature, but he was aware that the people of Istanbul were responsible for that. Their ways of respecting cats, taking care of them, and feeding them were a reflection of how warm-hearted and empathetic these people are.
Several hundred thousand cats wander the streets of Istanbul, but they’re far from your average strays. Istanbul, alongside other Turkish cities, possesses a time-honored history of caring for its cats that dates back to the Ottoman Empire.
The mighty Ottomans worshipped cats because of how smart, strong, and clean they were. They considered cats their guardians because cats protected them from rat-borne plagues and defended their homes from getting destroyed by mice.
And as the years went by, cats became an essential part of Turkish culture. As Orin was walking along the Bosporus one day during his trip, he noticed something that caught him by surprise.
He saw two cats sitting on a concrete wall, huddled together, cuddling one another. He couldn’t believe his eyes because they looked like they were posing for a photo. Naturally, he took his camera out and started taking photos of them right away.
“Who would even believe me that these photos aren’t staged?!” he thought but he kept photographing them because he knew he wouldn’t get an opportunity like that ever again.
When he was done, he stopped and stared at them for a moment because he couldn’t believe how attached to one another they were. He wondered whether they were clinging to each other for warmth. But why would they stay on top of a wall where they were exposed to cold, wind, and other elements?
He didn’t care whether people would believe that he didn’t pose the two cuddling cuties for a photo. He was happy that he managed to capture such a cute moment.
Orin’s trip was packed with photos that showcase Turkey’s cat culture, too.
After gathering a bunch of photographs showing cats napping on the table, surrounded by people sipping on coffee and munching on cakes, climbing on Orin’s shoulders, and snuggling with Orin’s equipment, he was ready to move on and explore other countries.
We can’t get enough of the two cuddling cuties, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed Orin goes back to Turkey and reunites with sociable strays. Who knows, he might even bite the bullet and get a pet he can photograph every moment of every waking hour.