LifestyleMeet Garfield: the Instagram sensation cat of Ephesus ruins

Meet Garfield: the Instagram sensation cat of Ephesus ruins

The red cat living in the ruins of an ancient city has become a star.
The red cat living in the ruins of an ancient city has become a star.
Images source: © Instagram | garfield_of_ephesus
5:14 PM EST, November 20, 2023

Tourists who have an interest in visiting ancient monuments probably know that many of these sites are home to... cats. An example is Ephesus, in Turkey, with an exceptional number of cats discerned by visitors. The animals are quite friendly. And one of them, thanks to social media, has become a celebrity.

The cats of Ephesus have captured tourists' hearts. The entire archeological site, populated by remnants of ancient temples, an amphitheater, and baths, is not only layered with fragments of dilapidated buildings but also teeming with various felines. These laid-back creatures can be sighted in most tourist photographs taken at this site.

Tamed by tourists

Contemporary Ephesus ruins harbor the cats. Although these are feral creatures, local services ensure that the animals are vaccinated, dewormed, and well-fed. Throughout the day, they bask on stones, columns, fountains, and other stone surfaces under the sun.

The cats are not apprehensive around tourists, who in turn, pet them and offer them snacks.

The red cat from Ephesus loves posing for photos.
The red cat from Ephesus loves posing for photos.© Instagram | garfield_of_ephesus

Instagram star

The star of this antique feline world is Garfield, named after the color of his red fur.

Some tourists act out various funny scenes in front of Garfield.
Some tourists act out various funny scenes in front of Garfield.© Instagram | garfield_of_ephesus

Since last July, Garfield has had an Instagram profile that's been attracting an increasing amount of interest from tourists. "Miauw everyone… My name is Garfield… I am a street cat that lives in the ruins of Ephesus…," the profile reads.

The profile features numerous photographs of tourists with Garfield-on their laps, petting him, observing him, or simply posing alongside him. Each photo is annotated with a humorous comment or a "golden nugget" about cats.

Garfield's profile already has over 4.3k followers and the number has been rapidly growing recently. Rumor has it that many visitors, when touring Ephesus, inquire the guides about the whereabouts of this "famous" cat. Some even solicit help in identifying which among the red-colored quadrupeds is indeed Garfield.

The star cat tends to laze on the stone steps of the theatre, which is usually where you can spot him. Garfield is unafraid of people and welcomes them, and often takes little naps on tourists' laps.

What's the significance of Ephesus?

Ephesus is an immensely popular tourist attraction in Turkey. Listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the ruins of the ancient city astound thousands of tourists every year. Even though Ephesus currently resides in Turkey, it's originally one of the most vital sites of ancient Greece.

The city was founded in the 10th century BC and was subsequently overtaken by the Romans. That's when it flourished, transforming into a bustling, potent place of strategic prominence. At its prime, Ephesus was a habitat for approximately 50,000 people! This is precisely why a substantial part of Ephesus's architecture resembles Roman monuments.

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