“I found him on the side of the road,” the cat’s owner Elif, a 24-year-old sales specialist living in Istanbul, Turkey, told Newsweek. “He was in a very bad condition. He still has one bad eye that remained from the infections he had.”
Duman, which means “smoke” in Turkish, was named after a band Elif saw the night she found him. Though it took some time and the care of his new human companion, the brave cat made a miraculous recovery.
“He is 5 years old now, quite playful and grumpy from time to time,” Elif said. “He is really into food too as you might have noticed.”
“I discovered his love of burgers that one time he stole my burger from the plate when I wasn’t looking,” she explained. “I mostly feed him cat food but he likes bread and meat sometimes. I give him those as treats but I don’t overdo it since the sodium is high on those meats and could affect his health.”
One night last year, Elif was about to order from local takeout Ercan Burger when she noticed Duman giving her his familiar “gourmand look.”
That was when she came up with the idea of adding a note to her order asking them to include “a mini burger for my cat.”
“Honestly I had no idea if it would work but I added it as a note for fun,” she said. “Then my order arrived and there was an extra mini burger and also fries for my cat!”
While Duman happily tucked in, Elif shared a picture showing a screenshot of her request and the resulting delivery. The post went viral in Turkeyracking up over 3,000 retweets and more than 130,000 likes.
However, it wasn’t until earlier this month, when the same post was shared to social media by Memes I Wish I Could Tag My Cat In, that the incident came to the attention of many English-speaking pet owners.
That tweet earned over 64,000 retweets and more than 440,000 likes, as well as a glut of comments and photos from fellow cat lovers.
Txurini, was one of many who found the scenario entirely relatable, writing: “That’s so cute. I normally have to give my cat all my food!”
Mercutiaxcommented: “My late beloved kitty mMrky LOVED Arby’s. It became a battle when we would bring roast beef home. Eventually, we just started ordering him his own Arby’s jr.”
Infindox, meanwhile, wrote: “Reminds me of my previous cat, she loved anything deli meat-related, but above all ham. Never could order a sub without her trying to sneak a bite.”
Of course, there were a few dissenting voices.
GeeManInKC warned, “Pets can’t process our food and after some years your dog or cat will develop pancreatitis – very painful – and will need surgery to correct what’s gone wrong.”
However, the response was, for the most part, positive.
Asli Tumerkan commented: “That is SO cute” while Takiro_Ryo was “impressed they had tiny buns stocked.”
Elif said that while many of the responses were “fun to read” and it was great to see pictures of chubby cats enjoying food, some of the critical comments were “a bit surprising.
“Some people were mad at me saying that I harm my cat by feeding burgers as if he eats that everyday,” she said. “It was supposed to be funny and cheer people up but I guess there’ll always be those people spreading negativity.”
Ultimately, for her, only two things mattered.
“He liked it and I could eat my own burger in peace,” she confirmed.