So I'm back in Greece and have been busy settling and meeting a lot of lovely cat people. By cat people I mean those blessed souls who take on cat colonies varying from 20-35 cats. No, they are not hoarders but responders to a very real problem. Greece is known for its out of control cat/dog stray population and if you're an animal lover it's impossible not to respond to the plea of a starving and often abandorned cat or dog. Right now there's young cats everywhere having been abandoned by people who've fed them during their holiday but who've now gone back home. Many cats will die during winter time as restaurants close down and people leave (yes, go figure...)
Having just arrived here I've been a bit tentative feeding them in our own garden (even though I've already taken on a colony of about 10 cats residing by a local dumpster). But... there's been this one particularly insistent little black cat. It's been by the door whenever we opened it. So I caved! I started feeding it morning and evening.
This went on for about three weeks. One day my husband comes in from the garden and says; "I just saw a kitten in the garden!" So out in the garden I went, and sure enough, there's these irresistible little Ninja kung fu fighters tumbling around the garden having a blissful anaware kitten hoot (as long as it lasts). Turns out the little black cat (she's not very big at all herself) had a well kept secret of about of 2 or 3 kittens in the bushes. That might seem very charming (and it is), but also a bit frigthening because you really get a sense of how fast just a few feral cats contributes to an ever increasing problem. I instantly thought I'd have to get in some sort of close proximity to the kittens, knowing I would want to be able to handle them if possible, for the sake of neutering as soon a they're old enough. I managed for a few days to get a bit closer to the kittens (one of them being VERY brave in the image above - and very well camouflaged actually). But I think kittie mom thought that all the sudden attention had put too much focus on the den, so one night she decided to move them to another location. Maybe I'm responsible, but I'm hoping she'll start bringing them around when they're big enough to venture out and about for food.
Until then, she gets fed every morning and evening- and yes, in between :-)