If you are at all familiar with Tabby’s Place, then you will know of Anka, the paraplegic cat from far away Turkey.
But how had he made it from the streets of Istanbul to Ringoes, NJ? We accepted that it would forever remain a mystery.
But, at the end of October, 2017 I received email that began to unravel the mystery.
The contents of the email gets us one step closer to his full story: how he got to the US from Turkey.
I think the letter speaks for itself, so without further ado: (And, stay tuned for Part II, where we track Anka back one step further yet.)
From: Okan DEMIRKAN <redacted.tr>
Date: Oct 30
Dear Madam / Sir,
I found out that Anka was transferred from Animal Havens facilities [to] Tabbys Place and read (with much emotion) the article about Anka. Here is why I am writing: I am the person who brought Anka from Istanbul to New York at the end of last August.
It was an incredible adventure for my wife and me. We picked him up from the vet that was taking care of him, a few hours before our flight. The vet told me that Anka had excreted and would not have any bladder problems on the way to New York, but Anka was so scared when we arrived at Istanbul airport, that he let go off his digestion system on my t-shirt, twice. When we boarded the plane, they took Anka to the cargo department. I did not sleep a minute during the 11-hour flight, because I was worried that we would lose Anka in cargo, as he was so frightened. When we saw him again at JFK Airport, we were the happiest people on earth! Then, we handed him over to Animal Haven and were assured that we did a good thing for Anka (I was worried about whether we were actually torturing him with the 11-hour flight there).
A more miraculous thing happened in New York: my wife and I were looking for a store near Soho. We got lost and walked into Chinatown, by mistake. Then we noticed what we thought was a petshop in a corner. We walked to that shop (as we thought!) to see if there was anything we could buy for our own cat at home. As we neared the door, we saw the sign Animal Haven! Anka had literally called out for us and it was NO coincidence that we ran into him in that huge city! We walked in, and asked to see Anka. Anka was delighted to see us, and this time he looked at me as if he was saying thank you. I held him in my arms for a few minutes and we said our goodbyes. I am 37 years old and cannot remember being that touched in my entire life.
Last week, the friend of mine who asked me to take Anka to NY sent me the link to your article, From Turkey to Jersey: Absolutely Anka. I cannot describe my feelings here. What I now want to do is two things: (1) Thank you Tabbys Place for doing what you do. I am so happy that there are human beings like you on this planet. (2) I would like to donate for Ankas care and well-being. I looked at the options on your website, but did not want to choose any of them without asking you. What does Anka need the most? How can a support him best? If you kindly let me know the best way I can help, I will choose that option.
I do not know what else to say. This is all really emotional for me. Thank you so much!