Turkish Van loves water – cats go crazy when they are to be bathed. Generally, cats don’t like water. But there’s an exception. Turkish Van looks happy with water and they love swimming. How come? Let’s go back to their origin!
Cats and Water
POINT BREEZE KINGDOM – EVENING
Servant Y is taking a bath. Johnny comes in.
Hey, how you doing there?
Servant Y yawns big and answers Johnny slowly.
Can’t you see me having a great time, Your Majesty? I’m in heaven.
It doesn’t look like heaven to me, though. But I can tell you feeling good and relaxed.
Johnny looks so curious. Playing with water with his paw awkwardly.
Would you like to join me, Your Majesty?
Servant Y grabs Johnny’s tail and puts it in water.
Hmm, not too bad.
Johnny’s tail shrunk, it looks like a wood stick now.
You are unusual, Your Majesty. Usually, cats don’t like to be wet.
Why Cats Hate Water?
Generally, cats don’t like their coat or skin to get wet. It may be a large result of their ancestor’s environment.
A wild African cat which is considered to be cats’ ancestor lived in the desert. To survive this harsh environment, you want to keep your body dry, otherwise, when the night comes you would lose your body temperature too much due to vaporization heat. Cats have this tendency even long after the domestication.
Even though cats secrete oil from skin to coat, it doesn’t cover all of their fur. So once they get wet, they shake their bodies vigorously because their coat is not
water-proof. They don’t like to stay in wet state, it can take their lives… that’s in their genome.
Turkish Van History
Then why particularly, Turkish Van is considered to like water? It is their origin.
The Lake Van is the biggest lake in Turkey, located in the far east of the country in Van district. It is a saline and soda lake, receiving water from numerous small streams that descend from the surrounding mountains.
It is one of the world’s largest endorheic lakes (having no outlet). The original outlet from the basin was blocked by an ancient volcanic eruption.
That’s where she was first known.
The Secret of Cashmere-like Coat
The mountainous and rugged landscape and cold climate of the region no doubt contributed to the development of Van’s cashmere-like coat and solidly built body.
Turkish Van is a natural breed and has probably existed in his homeland for centuries.
Legend has it that she swam ashore from Noah’s ark, which tradition says landed on Mount Ararat in Turkey, not far from Lake Van.
They are considered to be the national treasure.
Turkish Van Personality
Turkish Van is thought to be highly intelligent and a good problem-solver.
Very smart, friendly, affectionate and devoted, which makes them wonderful companions. Whatever you do and wherever you go, they always want to be near.
Amazingly energetic and agile, Vans are known to be great climbers, loving, loyal, curious. They like to play, jump and explore anything that is within their reach or range of vision.
Van is likely experimenting with turning on the bathroom or kitchen faucet so she can play in the running water.
Many Vans are dedicated to fetching their particular object of interest, and many Turkish Van owners describe them as being
dogs in a cat suit because of their charming personalities.
The voice of the Turkish Van is also quite unique, described by many owners as sounding rather like a sheep, albeit a quiet one.
Turkish Van Body Characteristics
The tail is a magnificent full brush, and there are dramatic tufted ears. This breed is defined by its name as having the
van”coat pattern, in which the body is covered with chalky white fur and all color markings are confined to the head and tail.
She stands out for his distinctive
van coloration and her large, heavily built body.
Also, many Turkish Vans have a small mark between their shoulder blades called
the thumbprint of God. It’s thought to be a good luck.
How did the Van come by his spots of color? Both Jewish and Islamic tradition says that the cats were the recipients of a divine touch that imparted color to their formerly white coat.
On the ark, a door slammed on the cat’s tail, turning it red, and God reached out and touched the cat on the head, leaving a spot where his hand rested.
In the Islamic version, Allah touched the cat on the back, and the spot that is sometimes seen on a Turkish Van’s back is known as the thumbprint of Allah.
She enjoys being petted but isn’t necessarily fond of being held or cuddled.
Although they are very affectionate and friendly, it doesn’t mean they don’t get angry. Pay attention to her nose. That pretty shell-pink nose will start to turn red if your Turkish Van is upset. If her nose is shading from pink to crimson, heed the warning sign and you’d better leaving her alone.
POINT BREEZE KINGDOM – EVENING
Wow, she looks cool! Swimming so nicely! Let me try out here!
Soon as Johnny says, he jumped in the tub while Servant Y is still in.
Johnny ran away like a a runaway rabbit with water trail.
Also published on Medium.