Showing posts with label Greek cats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greek cats. Show all posts

Monday, October 12, 2015

Greece: Goats in the Garden and Gatas at the Door

We were looking for a change.  A change of pace. A change of culture. A change in the routine.

The day we had goats in the garden and the parade of gatas, (cats) at the door at our Stone House on the Hill in Greece’s Peloponnese, we knew we’d found the change for which we’d been looking.

Entry to The Stone House on the Hill

It was a warm summer morning – the windows were open and  I was at the computer when I heard the unmistakable hollow clank of goat bells in the distance. The sound intensified along with the percussion of dozens of un-synchronized hooves trotting on the pavement. 

Greek goat herd - Peloponnese
For we city-slickers-turned-Greek-olive-growers  it was a call to grab the camera and race up the entry stairs to watch them pass our house. We don’t see sights like that in our other suburban world.

Only they didn’t pass . . . City Slicker lesson number one: the herd came to a halt when they saw us. There they stood, blocking the public road. . .well, until they noticed our garden area and all the tasty morsels growing in it.

Heading for my new rose bush -
P1020095We’ve watched Greek goats enough to know that they love to balance themselves atop rocks and as the flock turned towards the garden, The Scout, asked, “You don’t think they’ll jump on the rental car do you?”

Luckily the shepherd and his dog were quickly making their way from the back of the herd to the front and went to work doing what they do best: herding them back to the road and getting them on their way. 

Let’s just say the shepherd didn’t call out a happy greeting to the two of us as he passed.

And Those Gatos/Cats at the Door. . .

PicMonkey Collage
"Princess" in January at left; in June on the right
It began in December with the arrival at our door of  a well-cared for cat whose owner we later learned had left her to fend for herself while he was on vacation.  She first sat outside on our deck peering in the glass doors, so forlorn that within days she’d convinced us to let her inside. At first content to sit on a rug, by the time our three weeks there ended she seemed to reign over us and we’d named her “Princess” for the obvious reasons.

She was sitting at the door again a few days after our return in the spring, but obviously was being well cared for and she didn’t stay long. She simply dropped in it seemed to eat a bit, sit on our laps and let us know she was doing well.

PicMonkey Collage
'Tom' in December at left; in June on the right
“Princess” didn’t come alone last December. Within days of her arrival, her brother (according to our neighbors) arrived. Handsome as he was, he was an out-door cat who twisted me around his paw so easily that I ‘built’ him a cat house using carpet and plastic sheeting to protect him from the winter weather. He ate well while with us. We named him “Tom”, again, for obvious reasons.

Tom returned this spring – in fact, within hours of our arrival at the house.  He’d not fared as well as his sister and sported open wounds to his ears and had lost weight as well as a lot of fur to mites and ticks.  Feeding him wasn’t enough, we made a trip to the vet to get medicine for his wounds and to eliminate the bugs. We later took him in and had his ability to father children taken away.

"Mom" with "Tom" at The Stone House on the Hill
We did that after the cat we believe to be his common-law wife arrived on the scene. We ended up naming her “Mom” for the obvious reasons. . .

"Mom" with the children
Within days of “Mom’s” arrival she brought the rest of the family – and you’ll notice the strong resemblance the wee ones had to Tom.

PicMonkey Collage
Lazy summer days at The Stone House on the Hill
Mom and the kids were feral, as are most of the homeless cats in our area. She finally let us pet her but the wee ones never came close.  Tom, on the other hand, couldn’t get enough attention.  They all become part of daily life at The Stone House on the Hill.

Many of you followed our Facebook posts about the cats and have asked what happened when we left.  Well, it was again a reminder of change in culture and routine.  There, the cats, are just left behind because we were told, they move on to the next home when the humans depart.  I couldn’t quite accept that so we had the gardener putting food and water out for them when he came to tend the plants and friends also came by with food. . .but apparently the cats did as we’d been told.  They moved on and neighbors reported no signs of the cats return.

Tom and Princess - Oct. 2015
I wrote this post back in the States but left it unfinished until our return to Greece. We arrived back at  The Stone House on the Hill last week (and have been without internet because a mouse had eaten through the cable). Now that we are back in the Net World I must conclude this cat tale with happy news:  Princess arrived at our door within minutes of our walking into the house. Tom appeared a couple hours later.  They've been with us constantly - both appear healthy and well cared for. . .so who took care of them and where did they go? We have no idea. . .just one of 'those things' I guess. Mom and the summer babies haven't been seen.

In future weeks I'll be intermixing Greek tales with continuing reports from our Middle East segment of the cruise.  As always thanks for the time you spend with us and hope you'll return soon.

Linking this week with:

Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox 
Our World Tuesday
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening
Mersad's Through My Lens
Photo Friday - Pierced Wonderings
Wordless Wednesday


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