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Tabby or Not To Be: A Cat-astrophe in Istanbul

A men’s tennis match interrupted a humble tabby cat’s big night at Istanbul’s Garanti Koza Arena.

Sources confirm that two male humans playing an athletic game for the entertainment of a large tabernacle of other humans disrupted the relaxing Saturday night routine of one Catherine Kedi, a simple street performer and also cat who was just trying to “express her art” and “put on a cute show” for her growing and dedicated cult following.


It initially seemed like just another evening for Ms. Kedi, who, after years scraping together a living for her family as a performance animal, had finally established herself as a star performer in the intercontinental cosmopolis of Istanbul. Yet upon her exciting weekly ritual of a dainty pitter-patter around public human space, the sport of tennis and one of its bold male denizens dared to ruin the night — for everyone.


“Honestly, this is just too much,” said the animal, holding back tears when asked about the incident.

“It’s been an emotional week for me. I had finally saved up enough to send my youngest off to Qatar a few months ago and I haven’t felt the same since he left. The birds I know have always talked about that empty nest syndrome or whatever and I never really understood it until just a few weeks ago.

“But, yeah, the support from my fans has been nice in these hard times. I wanted to keep my personal life out of my shows but with social media these days, it’s just too hard to keep things private. Coming to this stadium and fancy-prancing around like a regal queen is the kind of catharsis that only true art can provide. Then when two asshat humans decide to show up unannounced with their entourage and smack a dog toy around in the middle of your performance? It just hurts.”

The hurt became all too real when one of the players directed a tennis ball in Ms. Kedi’s direction, disregarding his own unimportance to scare the living shit out of the poor street creature who was the actual object of the crowd’s attendance.

“I couldn’t believe it — it’s a good thing clay courts are tennis’ version of a litter box!” joked Ms. Kedi, who goes by Cat as a stage name and later explained that her weekly strut soon gathered a quick cult following amongst humans, who now frequently gather in the massive 9,500 seat arena to simply watch her be a cat.


“I love Cat. Cat is good,” said Pars Türkkan, an Istanbul native and a fan since day one. Others echoed the sentiment — and disappointment that a men’s tennis match, particularly one between Federico Delbonis and Diego Schwartzman, would dare schedule itself in the middle of their favorite lil’ pretty kitty’s show. 

“Her dainty-ass paws and tail-wiggle as she glides across the tennis court every Saturday is just the best,” said one fan who asked not to be publicly identified. “I just don’t see why they’d schedule an eye-gougingly boring tennis match here when there is clearly a more poignant and emotionally thrilling show going on. Clay Court Cat doesn’t need this kind of rudeness, especially given what she’s been going through personally over the past few months.”

The ATP Tour, the governing body of men’s tennis around the world, sparked controversy earlier this week when they announced support for a new snow court surface in Munich. The catastrophe in Istanbul is yet another blow to the organization’s reputation.

“If they were gonna interrupt Cat, they least they could have done is give us a Federer-Nadal match instead,” denounced joint tennis and cat fan Ayla Berberoğlu, who left the stadium promptly after Delbonis hit her idol with a tennis ball.

“Or women’s tennis.”

No animals were harmed in the reporting of this story.

About Jeff Donaldson (35 Articles)
Queen's University '15. Tennis Canada. @jddtennis/@donaldsonjd

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