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Istanbul Mosque Opens Its Doors to Stray Cats on Cold Winter Days

A mosque in Istanbul is creating social media buzz with its cat-friendly attitude. Stray cats looking for warmth and shelter on cold winter nights are always welcome at Aziz Mahmud Hüdayi Mosque in the city’s historical Üsküdar district.

Photographs of Mustafa Efe, the mosque’s imam (leader), playing with the feline visitors have gone viral online. According to news reports, he started allowing stray cats inside the place of worship last year, to help them escape the cold weather. The imam is apparently well-known for his good humor, diligence, and kindness towards animals.

Efe posted a few pictures and videos of the cats on his own Facebook page and one clip actually shows a mother cat carrying her babies in her mouth, one-by-one, into the mosque. “Our mosque’s Friday guests,” the imam wrote. “A surprise awaiting us at the sermon today. The kitty has found the heart of compassion and mercy.”

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