While World Leaders Are Preoccupied, Cats Take Over

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Oh sure, Istanbul is a transcontinental city, Turkey’s cultural capital, an architectural jewel, and a beacon of the Silk Road. But ask anyone who’s even been or lived there and they’re as likely to mention the city’s famous cats. Estimated in the hundreds of thousands, the feral cats are fed and sheltered by a network of concerned and loving local citizens. The Hagia Sophia, the city’s most famous mosque, even has a cat of its own, Gli.

Over the weekend, the cats of the resort city of Antalya took center stage—literally. Three animals snuck through security and got on-stage at the G20 summit:

At this moment, there was no report as to whether the creatures made demands, although no doubt some of the local authorities considered the invasion a cat-astrophe.

(Update: This note originally implied that the cat-astrophe occurred in Istanbul.)