The 2016 Seattle International Film Festival screening audience was transported to Istanbul, Turkey (English captions) to view a documentary about the cats who have populated the city for centuries. The citizens think their cats jumped off sailing ships that came from Norway.

Director Ceyda Torun has captured a fascinating series of profiles that feature cats and the people who share their city. I expected to see a film about feral cats, but all of these cats are socialized. In fact, they have a proprietary attitude about their city. The people seem to be there to serve THEM! The cats expect to be fed and petted, and then LEFT ALONE.

We become familiar with a number of unique cats, see their personalities in action and hear their stories from the people who care for them. The photography is amazing, the editing is wonderful and the script is entertaining. We learn that not all the cats are sweet, in fact, one is described as "the neighborhood psychopath," but he doesn't lack for fans who are more than willing to provide the tough love he demands. We see one female defend her territory and drive some flirty intruder away from her mate while a cowed dog huddles between his owner's legs.

Expect to see cats prowling, walking, strolling, running, begging, greeting boats on the river, feeding their kittens, and keeping the mouse population under control for restaurants. One woman says communicating with a cat is like communicating with an alien, but when a link is made it's "mystical." These people LOVE their cats.

By the way, during the final credit scroll, all of the cats we met are named by name! I even recognized some of them...