Tag Animals

Fortune Telling Rabbits

This is a nice little bite of Turkish life from a tourist in Istanbul. Especially nice for me to read because so often I hear Istanbulers talking about how much the city has changed. I can assure you that fortune telling rabbits are still here, 11 years after this was published.


“Tell the rabbit your name,” he said, which seemed only fair since I already knew theirs. Upon learning my name, Bonçuk wiggled his nose the way rabbits do and then chose among the dozens of folded-up pieces of paper in front of him. He drew one with his little teeth, and Sahan took it and handed it to me.

Save the Van Cats

Some background on a little coincidence.

When I was in Haiti volunteering with Clowns Without Borders I made an interview with the logistician for the French group. I was his translator and I don’t know French very well at all. At some point he said, “vingt-quatre,” and I translated it as van cat and talked a little nonsense about what we do with the van cats.

Imagine my surprise when this headline showed up in my Turkey news feed: TURKEY SAVES VAN CATS FROM EXTINCTION. Van cats are real! They come from Van, they have different colored eyes, and they are being saved from extinction!

“The Van cat has to be fully white, with one eye turquoise blue and the other amber. The roundness of its face and the length of its tail are very important.”

Van cat is seen at the Cat House Center in the eastern city of Van, Turkey, 19 January 2006.

“The Van Cats Research Center, established by Van’s Yuzuncu Yil University in 1992, has played a key role in saving the species from extinction. The number of purebred Van cats at the center has increased from 30 in 1992 to 144 in 2014. The cats have been issued ID cards and the university has banned them from being sold or given away as presents.”

There is a really boring youtube video explaining how important Van cats are, longwindedly describing the plight of the cats disappearing from Van. People kill the ones that don’t have two colored eyes, the ones that do have the two colored eyes? Tourists kidnap them. I don’t blame them.

The Boy’s Antics


Bath Time

Shark Fins Banned In Saipan

Kathy Pagapular, a teacher on Saipan, first saw the film Sharkwater at American Memorial National Park, which hosts a free public showing of an environmental movie on the first Friday of each month. She liked the film so much, she purchased it offAmazon.com and showed it to her sixth grade class. The students loved the movie, too, and decided to write to Sharkwater’s director and editor, Rob Stewart, to ask him to come to Saipan to help them protect sharks. -Source