Back in October of 2011, a powerful 7.2 quake rocked the Turkish city of Van, which killed 672 people, and researchers say the it caused cats to become so depressed that they committed suicide by dropping from high places.
“After the quake that jolted Van, a large number of cats are throwing themselves from heights,” said Prof. Abuzer Tas, a lecturer at the Faculty of Veterinary Studies of Van’s Century University, Haberturk of Turkey, who attributes the suicidal tendencies to psychological disorders developed as a direct result of the quake.
“They are getting fidgety by remaining in confined areas for a long time,” he explains, “and they are throwing themselves out in order to free themselves.”
The Van Cat is a breed of cat native to this town and named after it. The Van Cat is noted for its white fur, and having different colored eyes.
After the 7.2 quake that hit the city on October 23rd, a 5.7 aftershock occurred on November 9th, causing more damage. In all, more than 6,000 people were injured and caused the collapse of several of the city’s buildings.
Van has often been called “The Pearl of the East” because of the beauty of its surrounding landscape. An old Armenian proverb in the same sense is “Van in this world, paradise in the next.”