Cats in Turkey Just Can't Take it Anymore
Cats in Turkey have become suicidal. I take a lighthearted look at the situation.
Most of us have heard of animals exhibiting strange behavior before major weather events. In Turkey, the bizarre behavior began after a seismic event. Ever since a major earthquake rumbled through the city of Van last year, the number of cats attempting suicide has been on the rise. Now I am familiar with suicidal squirrels on the roads, and I enjoy every opportunity to call their bluffs. But cats taking their own lives? I found the concept intriguing.
How does a cat attempt suicide? Exhaust pipe in the litter box? Catnip overdose? Not the Turkish kitties. Instead of using some of the more common methods of suicide, cats in Van are opting to leap to their doom from high places. Specific locations were not given. Tall buildings, perhaps? Uppermost tree limbs, just out of reach of fire department ladders? Veterinarians say they have treated many cats with broken bones. Are these cats deliberately not landing on their feet? No one left a note, so we may never know.
I can picture an anguished cat, pacing along the edge of an apartment building roof. Below, dogs and mice line the sidewalk, cheering on the cat.
“Just go for it, Fluffy! If you botch this one, you still get eight more tries!”
Nice. Poor suicidal kitty.
What would drive a cat to end it all? Again, we are left to speculate. Perhaps the litter box isn’t clean enough. Do European cats even bathe every day? Maybe excessive hairballs or a mouse shortage are to blame. Perhaps one cat finally found its way out of a paper bag and ruined the surprise when he shared it with the others. One theory points the paw at psychological effects resulting from the earthquake. Another thought is that being confined in small spaces has prompted the odd activity. Really? Have you ever met a cat who doesn’t enjoy cramming himself into the smallest space he can find? I saw one of my cats, Java, all contorted inside a coffee pot once. She must have been experiencing an identity crisis. I left it alone.
The other question that keeps clawing at me is how suicide was determined as the cause of death in all the cats. I suppose the owners were interviewed. Was your cat withdrawn? Hanging out with the wrong crowd? Was your cat taking antidepressants? Have you changed her food lately? Was he snubbing you more than usual? Being cyber-bullied by other cats? Don’t blame yourself. It’s normal to think you should have gotten a dog instead.
I also find it interesting that only cats were offing themselves. Are they more mentally unstable as compared to dogs, fish, or hamsters? I did have a Betta fish that leapt from the safety of a net to a plate of solidified bacon grease. Needless to say, his act of aerial acrobatics did not end well. I thought I knew him but I must have missed the signs.
Will action be taken to prevent similar outbreaks? Perhaps cast will be required to undergo psychological evaluations before being allowed to live in earthquake zones. Don’t misunderstand. Animal suicide is no laughing matter (go, PETA) and my heart goes out to the families in Van who lost their cats in this unusual way. My heart would break if either of my kitties bought the farm for any reason. I know I will think twice from now on when I see a deceased cat on the road. Was it murder, or did something else make him run into traffic? Maybe, just maybe, this time he was too darned curious.