Stray Cats Steal The Show At G20 Summit In Turkey

Three cats casually strolled across the stage while the crowd awaited the world's leaders.

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"Hey, world leaders! What's the happs? You got any catnip?" Via Duncan Stone/Twitter

You’d think it would take something extraordinary to upstage an appearance by the leaders of the free world, but nope. Apparently presidents, prime ministers and chancellors are nothing compared to stray cats.

As the assembled crowd waited for the G20 Summit to begin in Antalya, Turkey, on Monday, three cats strolled across the empty stage, creating a sensation by doing nothing more than giving a noncommittal sniff to a couple of potted plants.

In a video clip tweeted by BBC News cameraman Duncan Stone, two cats boldly make their way across the stage, before a third cat — possibly meowing the feline version of “You guys! Wait up!” — chases after them.

Stray cats are revered in Turkey — and they’re also everywhere, not just making appearances at world events. Istanbul has been jokingly referred to as “Catstantinople,” due to the overwhelming number of cats who roam through the streets, lounge on the sidewalks and brush against visitors’ shins at outdoor cafes. (And if you paid attention to history class or a They Might Be Giants song, you’ll remember that Istanbul was once named Constantinople).

“Being a cat in Istanbul is like being a cow in India,” musician and Istanbul resident Sibel Resimci told the New York Times. “For generations, they’ve had a special place in the city’s soul.”

And now they’ve had a special (if uninvited) place at the G20 Summit, too.

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