Later he met me at the door to help me feed Three-Paw and the little black cat. He was so happy to hold their plates and watch them eat. He kept sighing and saying how lovely they were. As we talked he began to mention home more and in the end I found out he wasn't actually Iraqi born. He had been born in Syria, out in the desert, but his family had moved to Iraq some time ago so in his head he was an Iraqi.
Later I took him to meet all the other cats and he thought each one was beautiful. Even the one with the collapsed ear and the other with a face full of snot. I loved passing the evening with this little boy. (Although Anil, my thirteen year old Turkish neighbor, snubbed me. I think he thinks I've found a new boyfriend!)
I have realized that in Istanbul I may be a lonely person...but I am never alone.