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We were driving around the backstreets of Istanbul, my husband at the wheel, after the big earthquake had hit Istanbul in 1999. That's when I saw this little skinny kitty cat staring at me from the pavement. I told my husband to stop the car, opened the door, and Irma la Douce immediately jumped in. She gave me and my husband each a kiss and settled herself comfortably into the back seat, waiting for us to drive home. So that was how she adopted us as her family and we're inseparable since then. Irma is a stray cat with lady genes, loves to bite my nose, and is the master of the house. She is consistently and completely spoiled by her humans including my sister and my parents living a few blocks away, where she often pays courtesy visits.

Dilek Gonen
Istanbul, Turkey

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