Saturday, November 8, 2014

the van cat

Before we leave Van for vast lava fields and the Iranian border, there's something peculiar about Van that's worth mentioning. For all you cat lovers out there, the region has its own unique breed known simply as the "Van cat". I don't know much about cats nor do I really want to, so I admit that I have not researched this feline or its history. What I do know about the Van cat is that it is always a short-haired white cat, with one blue eye and one green eye.

Van cat:

Not a Van cat:

Perhaps the reason why this fellow was wandering the streets and not in a cage by the castle for tourists to tease and photograph. Ok, curiosity got the better of me. I just read that Van kittens can go for near $300 each, especially if they are pure white (apparently some can have a reddish mark on their heads and hind legs), and that the cat is claimed as a national symbol by Armenians, Kurds, and Turks.

It was even featured on a series of Turkish postal stamps in 1997.


dinahmow said...

And Vans are natural swimmers.

szaza said...

Yes! I read that the cats had been seen swimming in the lake...

Sokrates'in Ye─čeni said...

Hello once again from Van.

Despite Van cats are famous for their discrete coloured eyes, there are unique-colour-eyed Van cats as well. So, there can be a Van cat which both eyes are blue or amber.

It is also a very clever cat that you can teach it so many things. In my childhood, one of our neighbors had taught their Van cat answering the phone. Whenever the phone rang, it was running to inside, climbing up on the table and touching the handset of the phone with its paw. :))


szaza said...

Wow! That's an extraordinary cat! So a Van cat can have both eyes the same colour as well? Interesting... they seem to be special little beasts.

Best wishes to you :)