From Outhouse to Penthouse: Turkish Family Builds First Village for Stray Cats

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With the help of volunteers, a couple has created a "cat settlement" for homeless felines in the village of Doyran in the Turkish province of Antalya.

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Inspired by the plot of "Mandıra Filozofu" ("Milk Philosopher"), a film about a man who left modern life behind him and moved to a village, Istanbul citizens Mehmet and Müjgan Orhan decided it was time to sell their 1974 model car and rent two hectares of land in the district of Konyaaltı, Antalya.

Here, in the village of Doyran, with the assistance of Antalya's Association to Protect Street Animals (ASKODER), the couple has organized a real paradise for stray cats, a local newspaper reported. In their "cat village," there are small "luxury villas" with balconies, playgrounds, hammocks and other things to provide a full and happy life for the animals.

"To this day, there are 15 houses and 4 ‘luxury' villas in our ‘cat village'. They are protected from the rain and the sun. And when it's especially cold outside, just like now, we all gather near the stoves to warm up," Mehmet told journalists, who are now frequent visitors to their "village."

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​"Volunteers from ASKODER bring food for cats; but sometimes we cook treats for them ourselves and make barbeques on certain days. We have a natural mountain spring, which flows nearby, where we take drinking water for our animals," he explained.

All their cats were rescued from the street, and there are some pure-bred kitties among them, such as a Turkish Van, a Norwegian and an Angora. "Now we have about 100 animals, but I think eventually we will shelter many more," Mehmet added.

The animal lovers plan to expand the territory of their "village" in the future and turn it into a full-fledged "cat city."

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