Bizans Turkish Angoras

*     Have you ever marveled at some seemingly unrelated events that lead to unexpected, implausible connections?, m.   Do you call them happy accidents, coincidences, serendipity, or things that are simply "meant to be"?   The circumstances of our finding our present home I even attribute to assistance from God and possibly even my own dad, who had passed away nearly two decades, long before I was married and even longer before we began looking for a house.  It is perfect for us and truly meant to be.

     I am take the opportunity here to share the serendipitous, and completely true story of how we came to find the perfect name for our cattery -- and so you can appreciate the artistic references in our logo and why I love both so very much.

     Barb Azan's passing and my inheritance of her cats kind of forced a quick decision for our cattery name.  In my grief, I wanted our name to reference and honor Barb in some way.  My first attempt at a name was Miras, meaning legacy, heritage, inheritance; but it was too close to another cattery name, Midas -- ironically, the King of Phrygia in the 8th century B.C., who lived in Gordion, a mere 90 km from Ankara.  

     Another attempt was Az-Miras, meaning little legacy in Turkish, because I wanted to  Barbara Azan.  The problem is that it is, coincidentally, too close to Barb's own cattery name, Azima, and it would cause confusion.  Someone suggested that I might want to stand on my own and name my cattery independent of any references to Barb.  Back to the drawing board.

     It takes many hours to think of and research names for a cattery.  There were many requirements and preferences:

          1.  The name should begin with a letter near the beginning of the alphabet and be short so that all three elements can be included in the 35-space limitation of registered names of cats (Breeder's cattery name, individual cat's name, "of", and new breeder/owner's cattery name).  Also I wanted the name to begin with a letter near the beginning of the alphabet.

          2.  A name in the Turkish language was a "given" since I lived there and these are, you know, Turkish Angoras!  Also it should not include any of the six uniquely Turkish letters.  In addition, the word must sound pleasant to the American ear, be easy to pronounce and, hopefully, to remember.  An ideal name would refer to something of Turkey's history or culture as a teaching tool and to help make the cattery name and breed's name and origin memorable.  I also didn't want to name it for Turkish city since I had been to so many when I lived there and other catteries had chosen several for their cattery names.

          3.  I studied Islam and Sufism in college after I returned from my tour in Turkey and love their beliefs in common with Christianity and Judaism and the richness and sophistication of the artwork, but I despair since 9/11/2001 that many people tend to confuse Islam with terrorism, so I reluctantly ruled out Ottoman or Islamic references in our cattery name.

     After hours of work with an online Turkish-English dictionary, I gave up and went downstairs to retrieve my old paperback Turkish-English dictionary.  The next part I swear is true:  On the way upstairs, the book fell out of my hands and fell at my feet, opened to the English-Turkish side of the dictionary to the page with the ends of the Bs and the beginning of the Cs.  The last word of the Bs was, of course, Byzantium!  PERFECT!!!  Of course, I knew the Turkish word instantly because you can't visit Istanbul without nearly constantly hearing Bizans in references to the (Hagia Sofia or Aya Sofya in Turkish) as well as innumerable other sites, art, and architecture.

     Truly, it was perfect:  Ideas for a logo with fabulously rich, easily identifiable art motifs sprang to my mind.  Neither a city nor religion, it referred to an era and familiar empire with its own .  I was so excited, I ran upstairs to ask my husband's opinion since he is the other half of Bizans, I recited all the requirements, he approved -- bottom line it wasn't until an hour or so later that I realized the similarity between Barb Azan's name and the word Bizans.  When I finally realized that other TA breeders will probably conclude the name again referred to Barb, I immediately became all deflated and considered not using Bizans and nearly resigned to having to begin the search again -- when I also realized that the name is mostly for pet owners and "the public" to recognize and remember, and I can't worry about people who didn't like Barb making assumptions and disapproving of my cattery name and that people who did like Barb, even if they do make assumptions, wouldn't mind at all if it were to refer to Barb.

     Bizans would be my perfect choice for the name of our cattery if I had never met or heard of Barbara Azan so it is our name, and I love it!