Kindness Matters

During my time in Turkey I was fortunate to meet many charming people many of whom inspired me and many that I shall never forget; two of those were George & his lovely wife Laura, retired expats who lived in one of the apartments in our block. We used to chat at the pool and exchange book recommendations and as I was fairly new to Turkey they helped me out with advice such as which dolmuş (bus) takes you to Maveshir market and various restaurant recommendations; all very important for a green expat. One day whilst I was sat poolside sunning myself, he beckoned me over and asked me if I liked cats; does the Wizard of Oz like munchkins? I was beyond enchanted when I discovered that the balcony of their apartment was alive with mother cats and kittens. One of the things that I had found the hardest to bear when living in Turkey was the poor animal welfare & cruelty so stumbling across this safe haven for mother cats and kittens filled my day with sunshine.

Like many retirees George & Laura, were living on a budget and as pet food is generally very expensive in Turkey, they fed their house guests a diet of pasta, fish and whatever meat was going cheap in the butchers that week along with donations from friends and neighbours. Street animals have a very hard life in Turkey and it’s common for them to be poisoned, beaten & kicked or have stones thrown at them by children. In our neighbourhood pregnant mother cats soon discovered that George & Laura’s balcony was a protected sanctuary for them to safely deliver their kittens free from predators, harsh weather and cruelty.

So I was delighted when Laura told me that she has begun inviting neighbouring Turkish children over to meet the young cats and kittens in the hope of re-educating the next generation which in turn might improve the lives of street animals. Their obvious delight in discovering the simple pleasures in helping to feed & play with these small mites was a joy to watch. Whilst I know that no one will ever be able to save all of the street animals in George & Laura’s small corner of the world they had without doubt begun to make a huge difference for the precious little lives in their care.

“Teaching children to be kinder to animals today, is our only hope for a kinder world tomorrow”


16 thoughts on “Kindness Matters

  1. Teaching kindness, yes, that is what we need more of. The nastiness, anger and violence today is unbearable if not for the few who practice kindness in their daily lives. Thanks for sharing that story. Just read a Turkish plane went down. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh Dallas, kindness, compassion and joy have the power to change lives, our thoughts, our communities. St. Francis of Assisi says it best: “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I volunteer at a cat shelter in Fethiye and it’s lovely when children come and look and want to play with the kittens. On the downside, as soon as a child develops a rash the doctor usually blames it on the family’s cat so quite often we’ve been left cats who have got used to being owned and all we can do is make sure they are healthy and neutered before they go to one of the local feeding pods.

    Liked by 1 person

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