One of the things that most amazed me in Turkey was the prevalence of very friendly, well-behaved stray cats and dogs. One Istanbul mosque, however, is taking the city’s relationship with its animals to a new level by welcoming cats inside, including this mother cat with her very tiny kittens:
The cats — which as visitors to Istanbul quickly discover are ubiquitous — have been welcomed into the mosque by Mustafa Efe, the Imam at the Aziz Mahmud Hüdayi Mosque.
And here’s one of the cats hanging out with worshipers:
When I first saw the video (the story has been floating around for a few weeks now), I was disappointed I had just returned from Istanbul; had I noticed this sooner I might have checked it out while Laura and I were in Istanbul in January. Instead, we’ll all have to settle for pictures of cats in a mosque — there’s an entire Getty gallery here — which is not at all a bad plan B.
Related reading: 17 Pictures of cats in ancient ruins
— Jim Dalrymple II