A cute cat, which has received global interest through videos on social media videos waits in line for her turn for meat in a crowded butcher shop in Manisa, İkram Korkmazer, the Turkish butcher who feeds the cat, said on April 26.
“I’ve been looking after animals for years. I have been together with Yeşim the cat for four years. She is a wild cat, so she will not jump in your lap. But she will not leave the shop until she gets what she wants. She is very clever. She waits in line even when the shop is crowded with customers,” he said.
Videos of Korkmazer, 46, and his cat “Yeşim” have been shared and viewed many times by social media users. Iranian, British, and Russian media outlets have also reported on the heart-melting relationship between the two.
Furthermore, United States media outlet Jukin Media has bought the rights to broadcast some videos of the cat and the butcher.
“For years, Yeşim cost me 15 to 20 Turkish liras per day for offal meat. But I was never upset by this loss. Thanks to Yeşim, another door has opened for me in my favor. Jukin Media has bought the rights to broadcast some of our videos with Yeşim. Sixty percent of the income from the royalty rate of my videos will be transferred to me. But my purpose had not been to make money anyway,” he said.
Korkmazer had started working as a butcher apprentice when he was nine to provide financial support for his family.
He had not continued his education after graduating from middle school. But Korkmazer has felt regret for being unable to continue his studies. So, he finished high school via a distance education when he was 34. He enrolled in the department of public administration at a university after he graduated from high school.
The butcher said he had not thought about recording a video with Yeşim because he had considered their relationship to be normal.
He also said the cat and his reputation became public after one of his customers took a video of them.
“When my customer recorded a video, I shared it on my own Facebook account so I would have it as a memory. A friend of mine shared the video on the Turgutlu Animal Association page. The video emerged after it was shared with the head of association,” Korkmazer said.
He also denied claims that he has been feeding the cat cheap meat.
“Yeşim eats offal, such as spleen, heart, kidney, and lungs. She is not interested in ribs or steak,” he said, highlighting that ribs and steak are one of the most expensive parts of the calf.