A life experience of a Polish girl on the Greek island of Crete.

Polka pisze wiec po polsku tez bedzie…

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Tribute to our cats

When you live in Crete, there is one sure thing! Very soon you will become the owner of a cat! Cats are everywhere, a lot them are wild and hungry, but if you like these animals and you can share a can of cat food or some leftovers, they will move into your property, take it over and keep you amazing company, especially during the winter months on the island. 

We’ve been through some really close relations with cats. Me, my husband and his parents, we are crazy about those little creatures. Andy had his Daphni for almost fourteen years. No one who had a chance to see this cat (she hated visitors in the house and could be missing for hours while they were in the house!) doubted that she was his cat, crazy in love with him. She came around the property where my husband’s family was building their Cretan house. She was there before me and when I appeared and later moved into the house, somehow she accepted me. I think she was a smart “woman” realizing that with this one there are not too many options.Here, she is, Noula Tsililigopoula!
When the years went by Daphne gave birth to many kittens but before we made a decision to sterilize her, I met two of her offsprings.  The first was Lino-Babylino. He was the cutest male ever, melting at anybody’s touch, however, didn’t have Daphni’s wisdom and we lost him hit by the car. Unfortunately, this is a common case in Crete, where houses are located around the narrow and busy streets. The temperature is pleasant for most of the year and it would be a crime to keep those hunters in the house! So they go around, relaxed, not being restrained by any particular fence and they get hit by passing by vehicles. (the whole animal situation on the island needs to be described independently. Not a funny story!) 
Lino-Babylino as the blue-eyed baby
After Lino, Daphne had a rough time and I think she needed some love. That’ s how she became pregnant with her daughter – Menia. This is freaky, but once we met a couple who had two daughters and their names were the same with our cats: Daphne and Menia (we’ve never told them about it, hush!). Don’t get me wrong. Dapne was a lady and a real protector of the house. She could chase any animal which approached our residence, but everybody needs somebody and since she had a steady partner, she was letting him comfort her once a while. No kidding, just looking at the colors of her he kids’ fur, you could tell that all her children had the same father. Menia was again the only Daphne’s child and after winter time when she slept with me on the couch, she became a pretty wild girl, enjoying summer nights out and treating our house like a hotel.
Menia at ther innocent stage 

In the meantime, on the August late evening, another cat appeared in our life. She literally, rushed under my car tires and came back under my car as soon as I put her on the side.
That was Clara! She was a two-week baby, eaten up by warms and fleas. She was so skinny you could only see her ears. She looked like a bat! Didn't she???
Clara the bat!

We had her vaccinated, well-fed and we were looking for somebody to adopt her. Unfortunately, right at the beginning she was not too attractive and nobody wanted her. We started panicking because three cats in the house looked like a little too much. Then, the unfortunate accident happened and Menia got hit by the car at the same spot like her brother. There was a suspicion that Clara pushed her in order to stay in the house. Though, seriously speaking, this is a big problem on the island. Even if you sterilize your cats but you live next to the busy street, every day may bring you the cruel message of your pet’s death!
I’m not gonna tell you more than that that Clara became a princess of the house. She even got her own bedroom! At this time Daphne was a mature cat with a lot of experiences from her past motherhood and she adopted Clara at once.
Princess Clara and her beloved Tiger
Clara disappeared as unexpectedly as she turned up in our lives. We want to believe that someone stole her rather than think that something bad happened to her. She was a beautiful cat, Aegean style (I’ve heard that this is how they call those cats). She was special and she was a feminist! She had this thing that when my husband was having an argument with me, she would come out of nowhere, meowing at him, telling him off to lower his voice! She loved water and had constant stomach problems due to her rough childhood  when warms did some damage!

We lost Daphne to her age and the bad vet’s treatment – not the time to tell you this story now. She got buried together with her last two children under one of our olive trees. My husband loved this cat to death and after she passed away he wasn’t himself for a week. Then, one evening when we were sitting on the couch he just told me: “ Today her psihula (soul) left us! “.

It’s been more than two years since we lost her and since then, there was no cat in the house.
Though, they always find you in Crete and for the last few months we are working on the new relations. There is already Lulis – the male, driving you nuts with his meowing, living in the house of my in-laws. Lulis is a soft one, not really interested in food but in you stroking him all day long. There is also Zuza (Suzie) – the female that comes to our apartment in the center of Chania. Zuza is a tricky one and after at least three months I still didn’t have a chance to touch her. She is a totally wild cat and she has a big family. They all sleep on our door mat: Clemens- Zuza’s sister, Baby-Skoupa (We called the baby “skoupa” due to its appetite. Skoupa in Greek means vacuum cleanerJ ), not seen for a while Paula – girls’ mother.  
By the way, Zuza is pregnant now and looks like she is going to have 52 KIDS (that’s how we laugh at her chubbiness)
Well, we will see how all those relations develop.  
Miss Zuza presenting her "angry look"

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