Posted by: mollyscafeistanbul | November 17, 2009

oscar at molly’s cafe

one day the tea man from across the street came into the old cafe and thrust a little cat at me, even though i had told him earlier that i did not want a cat.  however, i decided it was fate and accepted this little white cat with reddish spots on his head and side.  after some talk with friends, we decided to call him oscar.  oscar turned out to be a great cafe cat.  at that time he was about 2 months old, so he is about the same age as the cafe.  except for people who are afraid of cats, he was beloved by all, as he was very cute and very social.  he was not even afraid of little kids.

oscar was the cafe cat, but i took him home at night. during this time, i lived around the corner from the cafe.  at first i carried him in my bag, but he did not like that, so then i carried him in my arms or on my shoulder.  he was happy to get home and always headed for either the kitty box or his food.  in the mornings, he knew that when i had the keys in my hand i was ready to go, so he was at the door immediately.  after a while he just headed out the door and down the stairs, so i did not have to carry him.  he would hang out in the streets or go with me to the cafe.  when he was really little, i worried about him being on the street, but i saw that the bigger cats tolerated him, though sometimes he would get a cuff.  they did not fight with him.  he would often hang out with the big boys at the garbage corner and generally got around.  i had to carry him home, or else he would have stayed out all night, which indeed happened a few times if i could not find him.  sometimes he did not want to go home, but i insisted.

biker cat







in the cafe, oscar liked to sleep in a basket where i kept the wool for an afghan i worked on when the cafe was not busy. he fit just fine until he started to get big.  it was by a heater, so he spent much of his inside time in the basket during the winter.  if the wool was on the sofa, he would make do with that.

oscar in the basket

oscar loved the wool

oscar also loved people’s laps.  some tolerated him only and some were very happy to have this little kitty relax on their laps.


oscar stretched out on kelly

oscar draped on cliff's lap


on the other hand, some people were afraid of him.  you cannot believe how many people in istanbul are afraid of cats.  a few of those people would come in and tolerate him if he stayed away, but a few  kind of freaked out and refused to come in.  olsun.

oscar would also allow himself to be put into hoods and held on hands.

oscar in carter's hood

oscar on carter's hand

since the cafe belonged to oscar, he felt free to be wherever he wanted to be in it.

the radiator was a fave during the winter

oscar's chair

cute little oscar

since oscar was a cafe cat, he was also an outside cat. he was well known in the neighbourhood.  one day he disappeared and i was so sad.  i went looking for him and the local people everywhere knew him.  he would go into the hospital garden, down to the archaeological dig, and up to  the square.  people even named him, most commonly pamuk (cotton), a common name for white cats.  when he disappeared one friend told me she thought he had died because she saw him being sick at the garbage on the corner, but a neighbour said that perhaps someone had taken him in.  the latter turned out to be true.  after being gone for three days, oscar just showed up again at the cafe.  i was so happy to see him that i cried.  silly, i know, but there you go.  not only did he show up, but he was clean.  that evening as i was closing, he was sitting on the back of the sofa in the window.  a couple walking by saw him and immediately came to the cafe.  they asked whose cat it was and of course i told them he was mine.  it turned out that they had taken him home and that they also lived in the same building i lived in.  after that they did not try to take him home.


oscar on the sofa, taken by zafer

another one by zafer

the best story about oscar was his friend bunny.  one day  my friend sait came to the cafe, reached into his pocket, and pulled out a little rabbit!  i called him bunny.  oscar was very curious about him.  one day sait played with oscar while bunny hopped around the cafe. all of a sudden oscar noticed bunny and ran after him round and round the cafe.  it was very funny.  however, sait could not keep bunny and that was the last time we saw him.

oscar investigating bunny

my favourite photo of oscar and bunny

real life






several times i had music in my cafe and oscar turned out to be a music lover, as you can see. here he is with the cyclown circus.

getting into the groove

helping rafael







many of my old customers ask about oscar.  he developed an allergy to fleas and got spots from licking and licking, so i kept him at home.  by then i had moved to a flat about 5 minutes from the cafe and had to carry him in a cat carrier.  i left him at home so he could get over the allergy and i decided to keep him there permanently.  he has no fleas now and he stays white.  he is kind of bored and sniffs my shoes and things i bring from the cafe, though now that smell has changed since i moved.  he is now a handsome cat, but only my visitors see him.  some people have suggested i bring him to the cafe again, but i know he would be on the street immediately.  he would catch fleas and possibly the pandemic eye infection, he would turn grey, and he would have to fight for his territory.  so he stays at home and i tell my old customers that he is fine.  however, he made his mark in molly’s cafe and will always be the cafe cat in the cafe’s history.

oscar at the kitchen window



  1. oh, how i miss oscar. i need to come visit him soon!!

  2. I miss Oscar, too. Seems as if he’s got a lot of admirers. Oscar, you bitch.

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