I am Mister Kaya; the only furry philosopher in the village of Kaya Koy near Fethiye. You may know me, or you may not but I do see some very interesting things as I’ll explain.

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of staring into my soulful eyes (I can quickly get to know you better than you know yourselves) or have had the ‘laying on of paws’ experience, where I can tap into your very soul just by placing a paw on your knee, let me tell you a little about my self. I am Mister Kaya; the only furry philosopher in the village of Kaya Koy.

Well, to be perfectly honest (and dogs always are) I must admit to not being the young dog about town any more, although I do still consider myself to be rather handsome. Instead of galloping around, my plumed tail waving, keeping an eye on everyone and organising their activities, I prefer to sit in a quiet, shady spot and observe the goings on of the local human population.

This does not mean that I don’t occasionally make a point of accompanying groups of red-faced tourists around the village after which I am named (not the other way round, incidentally) just to make sure that they don’t get lost.

Also, I like to ensure that they do not miss out on some of the more carnivorous eateries – so I inevitably take them to Cin Bal, Sarniç Restaurant or Poseidon for a few lamb chops or some tasty morsels of lamb kebab. I help them out if they have over-ordered. My introducing them to these meaty paradises is a totally selfless act, you understand, but somebody has to do it.

No, these days I am more of a philosopher in a fur coat. I watch, examine and speculate on the machinations of the humans around me. They never cease to amaze me and sometimes I am left with no alternative other than to shout some helpful advice at them as they go about their business.

Here I am just surveying the old Greek village in KayaKoy

Recently I have started on a new research project. I’m investigating the recent manifestations of Çöp Lokantası (Garbage Restaurants) that have been opening around my neighbourhood. I’ve heard it said that there is ‘no such thing as a free lunch’ but often some very tasty free meals can be found – fast food, 24/7 opening and excellent service! Kindly people throw their bags of food randomly at the large metal bins which have been placed at intervals around the village. Those that land inside the bins are out of my reach but provide segregated seating arrangements for the local cats who feast inside. The large majority of contributions however land in the vicinity of the bins, and it is these that can provide both sustenance for canines and felines alike. Personally, I prefer my meals al fresco anyway.

Some generous people have gone to the trouble of leaving sofas, armchairs, mattresses and even a loo (never got the hang of those) in quiet parts of the forest, far away from the bins. It really is so thoughtful of these benefactors to go so far out of their way to deliver them to some place with shady trees and amazing views that this only adds to the pleasure of these unexpected snacks. We are even supplied with a scattering of paper napkins! Unfortunately, I sometimes have to negotiate the piles of empty plastic water bottles, drinks cans and broken bottles they use to decorate these areas but I’m still pretty nifty on my pins and so far have managed to avoid any serious injury.

I really would like to personally express my thanks for their generosity but these people are obviously very shy and self effacing as they only leave their contributions at night or when no one’s around. If any of you know who these benefactors are then please let me have a note of their names so I can thank them in kind. I have a team of willing volunteers who would love to leave a similarly thoughtful present in their gardens and vegetable patches.

Another group of humans who visit my valley home during the summer months are unusual to say the least but that doesn’t make them any the less thrilling! They are mostly large, pink individuals who like to ride on noisy, open motor vehicles with four wheels! They drive together in herds, careering around the lanes in a cloud of dust causing great excitement amongst the chickens, goats, small children, villagers and assorted wild life. I have heard that some of the locals get such an adrenaline rush from these visitors that their lives are changed for ever. Some of my own feathered neighbours have said that they find it all too exhilarating and are forgetting to lay their eggs! But then we all know chickens are notoriously scatty.

These magnanimous pink people are also teaching their children how to bring a few spine-tingling moments into our quiet and uneventful lives. Sometimes quite small bi-peds can be seen manoeuvring these ‘quad-bikes’ around the valley together with their parents and such is their attraction many other cars, pick-ups and tractors follow along; just to be part of the gang. I often see these ‘hangers-on’ shouting colourful words of encouragement to them and swerving in and out of the traffic to make sure they can be heard.

When I first settled in this valley it was quiet and totally lacking in all the exciting modern amenities we have now. My older chums and I can remember the days when a few hunks of bread formed our staple diet and all there was to chase was the odd rusty car. Now we have more fun than we know what to do with….It’s just a pity that I’m getting too old to enjoy it.

k9 Kaya