Nurgül Tokgöz, a 52-year-old retired woman, lives with 70 cats in the western Tekirdağ province. Tokgöz protects and feeds the street cats she finds around Tekirdağ.
Since moving to Tekirdağ four years ago, Tokgöz rented a triple-storey building and has allocated two floors for cats. She provides all the food and medical necessities for the street cats, which she feeds at her home and regards them as her "children." Tokgöz told an Anadolu Agency (AA) reporter that it is not easy to handle all these cats and look after them with care. Some of Tokgöz's neighbors complain to her about the cats she looks after. "I try to meet their necessities, but still need support from animal lovers. At least they could donate cat food. Looking after a cat is not easy. I spend my entire day with them, but I love each of them. They are like my children," she said.
Tokgöz said she can't afford to look after all the cats properly. "I have devoted my whole life to them and will continue to do so until I die. If someone wants me to leave my home for this reason, then they can throw me out with my cats," she said. Tokgöz does not have any income besides her pension, and spends a significant amount of her money on the cats. "I do not have much money and this is why I sometimes experience financial problems. These cats would not have a home if I did not save them," she said. She even stays awake at night when they get sick. "I take them to the vet when they have a problem. I do not want much for myself but want to help them," Tokgöz concluded.