A sketch of my cat Da, made by me on February 3rd in 1990, who is the lost hero of this story…
I said “I’ve lost one of my cats!”
He said “How come did it happen?”
I said “…not one of my live cats. The one and only beloved toy cat of mine is lost during home-moving…”
“It’s alright,” he said. “People die and you are this much sorry for a-nearly-35-year-old-teared-up-by-your-father-and-stitched-together-by-your-mom plastic cat?”
I am sorry. Let me tell you the story.
I have a three and a half years younger brother. As a child we used to play our own games at home with him. Because we weren’t allowed to go outside till my mom came at home. My dad used to work at night shifts and he had to go to work at noon. My mom used to work 9 to 5. We stayed at home till she came and released us from our home-prison.
However home wasn’t a prison for us. We have cerated a world of wonders with our plastic toys. Can a cat marry a duck or a rabbit marry a chicken? In a child’s imaginary world, yes they can.
We’ve made a tribe of animals whose head was the oldest of them all: An elephant. His name was Filşi. Then came a widow donkey whose name was Sıp, inspired from the Turkish word Sıpa, little donkey.
Sıp had a boy and it was a goat.
The third male member of the tribe was a dog, Köp and he was married to a plastic Snow White figure which we called her Sesu.
Then came my precious cat. His name was Da. He was married with the most talented female duck of all times: Dek. They had two sons, a cat and a dog, Ko and Kay.
A rabbit, maybe the most loved rabbit of all times except Bugs Bunny, came along after the cat Da. They were best friends ever. The Rabbit’s name was Hie and he was my brother’s favorite toy. He was married to a chicken named Dekdi. They had a son called İğneli.
Vak was assumed to be another duck of the tribe. But many years later we recognized him to be the one and only penguin of our plastic friends. His wife was a praying girl figure that we named her Dekdu.
Sıp the donkey, Dek the duck, Hie the rabbit and Vak the penguin were broters and sisters. So their children had uncles and and an aunt!
The two single casanovas of the tribe were a giraffe and a rooster, whom were named as Zorşi and Horşi because they were best friends ever. After years of bachelorhood we’ve made them marry two beautiful girls. Zorşi’s wife was a dog called Sisi and Horşi’s wife was a plastic girl figure named as Sisa.
They had homes, they had cars, they had schools, they had hobbies, they had conversations, they had sewing machines, they had everything. We made them have whatever we have and we made them talk whatever we know. The tribe and its members never fought with each other. When they disagreed about something the head of the tribe Filşi and his fellows Sıp and Köp would take care of the situation. They simply looked like the animals in National Geographic series but the difference was they had never intended to chase or to kill or to eat each other.
They were the wonderful work of our dreams and imagination in 80’s, too many years before DreamworksSKG.
I don’t remember how many years have passed after my father had teared up my Da and my brother’s Hie, following an anger crisis of his own. But I do remember how many drops did my eyes teared all that night long. As I prayed to the Lord, I wished that when I woke up there should have been a miracle to see my Da and Hie were sticked together unbelievably.
They weren’t. My mom stitched the teared parts with a plastic surgeon’s care and attention. The thing I learned that day was, what a dad could tear apart could be perfectly stitched together by a mom!
So passed the years. We gave away all the other parts of our games but I never gave away our members of the tribe.
They lived with me when I got married.
They lived with me when I gave birth to my only son, Metehan.
They lived with me in two cities, three towns and eight houses.
I haven’t played with them for decades, neither my son did. But I knew that they were there. I always remembered their names. That’s why we call my nephew Eda’s toy giraffe ‘Zorşi’ again. In our family, from generation to generation a giraffe will have to be named as Zorşi I am afraid!
Two weeks ago I finally moved to my own house in Safranbolu, with my five cats and two dogs. As I was replacing my tribe to the shelves of the TV unit, I realized that my Da was missing.
Then I remembered that on the day of moving I had found him on the stairs outside and kissed and laughed at him saying:
“Where do you think you’re going? Don’t you know it’s dark outside?”
I took him and placed him in the kitchen. But now he wasn’t there!
I’ve made all the phone calls, asked all
the helpers if they’ve seen or thrown away my rotten and old plastic cat but I couldn’t get a sincere answer.
“And now I know what they’re saying
When the sun begins to fade
And we made our love on wasteland
And through the barricades…”
Maybe he has gone to wasteland.
Maybe “I should have known better.”
The only thing I know is, even if somebody will never sketch him up for animation of a Rugrats go Wild movie and no Bruce Willis’es will talk for him, he’ll always live in my heart, till this broken heart of mine is pumped down by re-animators of an emeregency room.
From left to right; Me, (animals in front row) Sıp, Vak, Dekdu, Hie, Dekdi, Dek, Da, (animals in back row) Filşi, Köp, Sesu, Sisa, Horşi, Hüso, Sisi, Zorşi, and at right my brother…