Random Travel Moment #5: Encounter with a Turkish Van Cat and a Carpet Casanova

Turkish Van Cat

What would you do if you spotted a mysterious Turkish Van cat, with two different colored eyes, while exploring a town? You’d take its photo, right?

Turkish Van Cat

That’s what I did. And then, as a result, I got drawn into something totally unexpected. Here’s the story…

Where: Seljuk, Turkey

I was wandering around Seljuk–recuperating after a very hot day over at Ephesus–trying to walk away from a Kurdish store owner who was trying to sell me something–anything, that is.

He had scarves, jewelry and pretty much everything, except Turkish rugs/carpets. And that was a relief because I was tired of looking at them.

What: Strolling, Not Shopping

I told him I was just strolling through town, not actually shopping. So he got me some tea and then, I did start to browse.

Eventually, I bought a cheap watch and figured I could finally break away from him. It was the watch, however, that broke. I bought a second one. Then, I said goodbye to Ali.

Who: Marvesh, the Van Cat

But then, I spotted Marvesh, the Van cat. Its lovely white coat and mysterious eyes caught my attention.

And that’s when the trouble began. The cat was sitting under a chair and near some large carpets that had been folded and piled up nearby.

Unexpected Challenge: Ali, the cat owner, was a ‘Carpet Casanova’ in disguise

I made the mistake of saying, “Nice carpets.” Minutes later, I was pulled  into Ali’s other shop, the one I hadn’t noticed, where he began the sales pitch–and the flirting.

Because of that combo, I gave him the name: “Carpet Casanova.” (Sorry I don’t have a photo, but if you can, imagine a Kurdish man with beady eyes who resembles Woody Allen.) I didn’t call him that to his face, of course. :)

Anyway, I suspect that the cat was not just his pet, but perhaps a ploy to get people to stay and shop even longer. What do you think?

Buying Turkish carpets

Did I Buy a Carpet?

Well, I’d like to tell you, but this is part of one of the stories in my book (which I’m hoping to publish in April or May). I’d hate to spoil it (a lot more happens after meeting Marvesh–including an encounter with another Carpet Casanova whose skills were even more honed).

If you’d like to read a free chapter at some point and learn about future discounts and giveaways, please sign up for my monthly newsletter. You may also want to follow me on Facebook and to subscribe to this site’s RSS feed.

Your thoughts?

What do you think about these Van cats and their mysterious eyes? Would you have stopped to take the photo?

Would like to own a cat like this or would the eyes bother you? Or are you more of a dog person?

Have you ever been sidetracked by something in a store and then end up staying longer as a result? If so, where was it and what happened? Do you think it (whatever it was) was there intentionally to keep you there longer?

Can’t get enough?

If you’ve enjoyed this, then you’ll love the other Random Travel Moments. In one of them, I met an “Arnold S” look-alike. In another, I “got scarfed” in Eastern Turkey. Fun stuff!

Link Love

Like Turkish Van cats? Then check out these links:

The Turkish Van Site

Cats 101: Turkish Van (video from Animal Planet)

PS: They are some truly fascinating cats. They actually like to swim!

Photo credit: Thanks to Jess and Peter over on Flickr for use of this photo.

22 Responses to Random Travel Moment #5: Encounter with a Turkish Van Cat and a Carpet Casanova
  1. Yronelle
    March 6, 2012 | 9:38 pm

    Those carpets are definitely awesome! I really want to go to this place and get one for me…
    Yronelle recently posted..Waterfront Gold SingaporeMy Profile

  2. beautydeleon
    March 7, 2012 | 6:04 am

    I was amazed by the eyes of the cat! Is that for real? It was my first time to see a cat with different colored eyes!

  3. Jack Scott
    March 7, 2012 | 7:30 am

    Our Turkish neighbour’s moggie is a Van cat – beautiful, graceful and a complete pain when she using our patio furniture as a scratching post. As for the carpet salesmen. We avoid them like the plague!
    Jack Scott recently posted..Norwich?!My Profile

    • CB Driver
      March 7, 2012 | 11:01 pm

      Hi, Jack. Funny re: your neighbor’s cat! I hear the Van cats are sort of unique. They love water, for example. But perhaps in other ways, they’re just like other cats–scratching and making mischief.

      LOL re: the carpet salesman. If you’re living there in Turkey, then you’ve probably encountered some of the most aggressive on the planet! :)

  4. Gillian @OneGiantStep
    March 7, 2012 | 8:45 am

    Hmmm…I wonder if I stumbled into the same shop in 2009. http://one-giant-step.com/magic-carpet-ride/ Although it’s likely that Van cats are somewhat common even if they do hale from the other side of the country! By the way…we did buy a kilim…and I love it!
    Gillian @OneGiantStep recently posted..Monday Moment: Bali, IndonesiaMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      March 7, 2012 | 11:00 pm

      Cool that you got a kilim—I also liked those. I think I may need to go back to Turkey to do some more shopping! As for the Van cats, there are quite of few of them around. Unusual but lovely eyes!

  5. Laura
    March 7, 2012 | 10:06 am

    Ha! Carpet Casanova! Perfect description for those guys! The tea and the air con was worth the sales pitch after I had tramped around Ephesus.
    Laura recently posted..From deep in the archive: a poem and a travel memoryMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      March 7, 2012 | 10:53 pm

      Hi, Laura. Glad you like the name. So many are so flirtatious, you know? LOL Good point re: the air con. That Ephesus was hot when I was there, too. Nice to cool off.

  6. Nora Coletti
    March 7, 2012 | 4:49 pm

    The cat is so cute, absolutely I would stop to take a picture of the cat but not for a rug!!!!

    • CB Driver
      March 7, 2012 | 10:52 pm

      Hi, Nora. So you would have stopped to take the cat’s photo but not to buy a rug? I understand–for sure! :)

  7. Kelsey
    March 9, 2012 | 12:07 pm

    Random fact: Turkish Vans are one of the oldest cat breeds in the world and are thought to possibly be the oldest domesticated breed.

    • CB Driver
      March 10, 2012 | 11:36 am

      Thanks for the random share, Kelsey! :) Very interesting. I love those cats, btw. If I weren’t allergic, I’d seriously considering getting one. I think they’re cool!

  8. Tawny- Captain and Clark
    March 10, 2012 | 12:47 am

    AHHH! He looks just like our kitty, but a short hair. We got our odd-eyed furball in Korea. We were told that no one in Korea would buy him since his eyes weren’t “perfect”. It’s funny since they were the reason we were so drawn to him in the first place. photo: http://bit.ly/A1Y7rH (yes, those are flowers… and yes, he has a cat harness). :)
    Tawny- Captain and Clark recently posted..Why I Love TravelMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      March 10, 2012 | 11:38 am

      Hi, Tawny. What a cute kitty–love that pic! I can understand why you wanted him….he’s unique, just as the Van cats are! :)

  9. Ellen
    March 12, 2012 | 4:15 am

    LOL, Carpet Casanova! I definitely know the type. But a Kurdish man who looks like Woody Allen? That’s something I haven’t yet seen.
    Ellen recently posted..Karneval in TrierMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      March 16, 2012 | 8:58 am

      Hi, Ellen. Perfect name for those guys. As for the Kurdish Woody Allen dude….he was a trip. If you go to Seljuk, perhaps you’ll see him… :)

  10. Thrixxie
    March 13, 2012 | 5:24 am

    The Turkish Van Cat is sooooo cute!
    Thrixxie recently posted..movers BaltimoreMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      March 16, 2012 | 8:53 am

      Yes–he/she is! I think it was a boy cat…. :)

  11. AnaLou
    March 14, 2012 | 8:42 pm

    The Turkish cat has nice fur and it looks really cute!
    AnaLou recently posted..One DevonshireMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

CommentLuv badge

Trackback URL https://chickybus.com/2012/03/trtm-5-turkish-van-cat-carpet-casanova/trackback/
Hop on Board...
Join Our Facebook Fan Page

Like this blog?

Get my book!

don't miss the bus! sign up for the monthly newsletter


I was syndicated on BlogHer.com


Review chickybus.com on alexa.com

Chicken Busology
Learn more about chicken buses by checking out these links:

Chicky Bus: The Real Story: Join me on a wild 12-hour chicken bus ride through Central America. Meet cheese smugglers and other characters. 

Chicken Bus Q & A: I answer all the questions you might have about chicken buses, but were afraid to ask. 

Want the quick fix
Watch the YouTube video to the right of this box. Vicarious thrills guaranteed!

come ride a Chicken Bus