She was a cat celebrity. Her name was Gli and she lived at the Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul for 14 years. She was the mosque’s resident cat and I’m sure that she enhanced the ambience of that vast mosque. Cats always do improve places. She had been ill and was being treated at a private veterinary clinic since September 24. It is now reported that she passed away due to old age and the news has been relayed to the world by the mayor of Istanbul, Ali Yerlikaya, on Twitter. I’ve only just picked it up. The Turkish, in general, love their cats which is probably linked to the Islam faith and the Prophet Mohammad. It’s a country with a long history of association with domestic cats. There are many community cats cared for, by example, shopkeepers. In some ways the life of a community cat is better than the life of a domestic cat in the West.
Some sad news to report. The cat who lives in the Hagia Sophia Mosque (formerly Museum and before that Cathedral) in Istanbul has passed away after being sick for a few weeks. She has lived there for 14 years and has met many celebrities including Obama. pic.twitter.com/anBN0pl4lS
— Beeb (@ybees3) November 7, 2020
The mayor said that she will never be forgotten and he was deeply saddened by her passing. Earlier in 2020 Gli was unperturbed at the transitioning of the mosque from its use as a museum for many years. On Friday, July 24 the Hagia Sophia Mosque opened up for worship for the first time in 86 years.
The story is one of thousands with similar narratives: resident domestic cats in workplaces, churches, libraries and homes enhance the places in which they live. I’ve written about the resident cat at Southwark Cathedral, Doorkins Magnificat, who also passed away recently. Her passing was an equally sad moment for those who knew and loved her.
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