territory

The town I live in had struck me with its urban animals when I moved here a few years ago. During my first week, the numb comfort of a squirrel lying on a tree bench, on her stomach and with legs apart, had made me crazy while I was running around like a march hare to complete move-in chores. And in the heat of September! The squirrel knew that he she was living in the south of the North America. Next week, I saw a few guys hanging out with a vulture (?) or a falcon (?). And I thought this was unusual. But it wasn’t. I was in rural America, even though people did not clarify that enough. Later, roadkill continued to shock me because nobody was coming to scrape those squirrels and birds -lovely birds, lovely colors- off of the ground. They resembled flat tires left on highways, quite in the middle of a lane sometimes. With the cold distinction that the urban animal was flattened on the asphalt even more than the flat tire could be. A living thing can always go flexible beyond manufactured items. When I would visit the professors-quarter of the town, I would also see opossums and raccoons, hanging out by the sewer. Until they see my bike light. When I visited back home, and had a friend visiting my hometown, she was amazed at how dogs occupied a little territory in front of a shop, in the corner and the entire neighborhood. Stray dogs running free in the middle of civilization… Unseen event in the U.S. cities. Usual day in Turkey. Each street cat in my neighborhood, Kadıköy, owned a car and three apartments in a building. They sat on their car, and they collected alms from each apartment. People of that neighborhood loved being owned by urban animals. They loved it so much that the seagulls started to eat the food they left for cats. I have no data as to how seagulls are affectionately viewed. Back to the town of squirrels, I would let out a moderate exclamation, ewwww, when I would almost run over an already-runover squirrel. Yes, you can almost bath twice in the same river. Now this documentary by Eleanor Mortimer is a good catch on another species that like to hang out where humans try to dominate. I guess this is a better way to think about territory, as urban animals do not economize habitat; just occupy.

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