It was supposed to be just an ordinary dinner in the charming and always reliable Happy Moon’s Cafe, Fenerbahçe, in the beautiful surroundings of Kalamış Marina. But it became a memorable evening as our family nearly increased in size with a new member, a street cat.
At Happy Moon’s Cafe, everything is in order. First, the decour and atmosphere are unique. The restaurant consists of three parts: a historic and idyllic wooden villa, a courtyard (covered and heated if necessary) and a terrace in Kalamış Marina on the edge of the Marmara Sea.
The menu is also varied and suitable for the whole family – and allergies are taken into account if necessary. (This is not always automatic, as allergies are much rarer in Turkey than in Finland, for example). The food is delicious and the menu consists of Turkish, Italian, Mexican, American and local flavors.
The service is always the best and friendly to us human customers as well as to street cats and dogs. In addition, regular customers are really spoilt, you feel like you are coming home – even if you come from far away Finland.
Most of the time the sea entices us to choose a table from the terrace, as was the case this time as well.
In this restaurant you enjoy the beauty of the coast of Kalamış, so time really flies. In the end, we got to experience one more of Happy Moon’s Cafe’s specialities: a spectacular sunset on the marina’s horizon.
But then in the colorful twilight of the magical sunset, weird things started to happen…
Out of nowhere, we got company: a little, grey cat friend. At first, we didn’t pay much attention to this sweet cat friend because there are cats everywhere in Istanbul. And it’s quite normal to feed cats in a restaurant while we eat ourselves. However, our cat caught our attention because he was seemingly guarding our table whilst staring at the street traffic from the back of my son’s chair, and it didn’t seem like he was in a hurry to go anywhere.
Our cat friend wasn’t interested in me at all, he had clearly made his choice – and that was my son. This was confirmed when he finally curled up and fell asleep in the chair on top of my son’s bag, taking over the whole bag.
When the waitress brought our food, our cat friend let us (for a street cat in an unusual way) very politely eat first and only then came naturally as a family member to eat from my son’s plate.
Eventually our cat friend sat down in my son’s lap, enjoying it with such certainty that we realized he had made his big choice – he chose my son as his new home. We both felt this in our hearts. In Istanbul, it is common for families to adopt street cats as domestic pets. Although cats and dogs living on the streets are also taken care of in a beautiful manner.
Eventually, to our surprise, we ended up considering the new family member very seriously, because this cat friend of ours was so completely sure of choosing her new home. There seemed to be some greater purpose in this encounter.
Unfortunately, in our life situation, a new, hairy family member was not possible, so with a heavy heart we had to tell our cat friend that he needs to find an alternative for his future home.
So when the moment of going home arrived, we felt our hearts break. Our encounter had been so significant that tears filled our eyes. We will always remember this unique encounter with gratitude. And we hope to meet this cat friend again at our next dinner at Happy Moon’s Cafe – unless he already lives in his new home of his dreams. That, of course, would be the best.
There are already a total of 38 of these cozy restaurants in Istanbul and other cities in Turkey. And as a little tip, Happy Moon’s Cafe can also be found in the heart of Kadıköy.
More information: Happy Moon’s Cafe