My Greek kitty crew

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

He who saves a single life, saves the world entire

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I know there are those who think it a futile exercise to try and help one cat in need in the midst of thousands, if not millions of cats in need. But one of the principles I like to act out from is the sentiment of "He who saves a single life, saves the world entire" (from the Talmud).

Therefore if you feel moved, have a look at Scooters particular plea over at Animal News Blog
A not so subtle hint in relation to his story is that he got caught up in some fishing line left behind by humans and now only has three legs.

Image ©animalnewsblog.com

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"I think I could turn and live with the animals"

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"I think I could turn and live with the animals,
They are so placid and self-contained,
I stare and look at them long and long. 
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They do not sweat and whine about their condion,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth."

Walt Whitman from Song of Myself

 Image ©via hedweb.com
 

Friday, July 23, 2010

The way to the inner sanctum

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If you thought the most holy of inner sanctums is a place in the Vatican in Rome then... well, you might want to reconsider.

To me this is a perfect representation of an inner sanctum. Clean, uncorrupted, still, at peace. Don't you just want to dive in and have a piece of it? To have the skill and finesse to prize open those paws (because it must be upon invitation only) and place a kiss on that pink little nose. Bliss! I'm in heaven.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cue: "Meet the babies that have made a mess of my heart"

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It takes quite a bit of fine feelings, warmth, devotion, fuzziness, endearment and just pure undiluted joy to capture what I would describe as my feelings for Gods little people. And today I came across an artist and photographer who epitomizes just that.

When I saw this photo with the accompanying words "meet the babies that have made a mess of my heart" I thought I must have met a like minded individual!!

If you could imagine human feelings being the "messengers/informers" back to God about what it feels like being on this planet, then I'm hoping God is receiving just a bit of what a delight the little people are to humans. It must work in a similar way as to when you create, say or do something - you don't know how it is received on the other end unless you have someone informing you of how it comes across.

Junelle, I loved meeting your babies and I love your photos!! :-)

Image ©Junelle Jacobsen
Junelle's shop on Etsy
Yes and Amen ... Junelle's website
 

Monday, July 19, 2010

If you never met Nora...



- then it's time you meet this piano prodigy.
There's gotta be something in the sound/vibration from the piano that makes her happy. It's such a curious little display, but isn't she just adorable?!?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tool making techniques



You've proably heard of animals with what seems to be an almost human level of intelligence. It appears more and more often. Well, not all clips in this Youtube is hot news, but check out the birdie! That's almost eerie. And Mr. Bagder is pretty advanced too.  That's what you can call tool making techniques.
P.S. Remember sound.

My little sisters...

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Don't you sometimes feel overcome by cynicism?? If not, then just a good old dose of frustration 'at the world' maybe?

The following words by the remarkable Saint Francis of Assisi acts as a healthy antidote and instills such a sense of endearment - it's sure to bring you back into your own sense of humanity. Reminding us that we are gentle humans after all.

Francis of Assisi believed that nature was the mirror of God and referred to all creatures as brothers and sisters. The following words is Francis preaching to his little sisters the sparrows...

"My little sisters, the birds, much bounden are ye unto God, your Creator, and always in every place ought ye to praise Him, for that He hath given you liberty to fly about everywhere, and hath also given you double and triple raiment; moreover He preserved your seed in the ark of Noah, that your race might not perish out of the world; still you; beyond all this, ye sow not, neither do you reap; and God feedeth you, and giveth you the streams and fountains for your drink; the mountains and valleys for your refuge and the high trees whereon to make your nest; and  because ye know not how to spin or sow, God clotheth you, you and your children; wherefore your Creator loveth you much, seeing that He hath bestowed on you so many benefits; and therefore, my little sisters, beware of the sin of ingratitude, and study always to give praises unto God."

Image ©Last-Stop

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Soul to soul

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Something caught my attention after the last post about Ginger and other animals destined for a life in Greece. My eyes went to the words I've placed under the blog title. "Animals share with us the privilege of having a soul." A wonderful quote by the great Greek philosopher Pythagoras.

I onced asked a Canadian woman running an animal shelter in Athens what the Greek makes of the quote by Gandhi "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." She told me that they most probably wouldn't know who he is! - and that all they learn about in school is ancient Greece, Greece being the birth place of democracy and of their great philosophic forefathers like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Pythagoras. I don't feel antagonistic toward the Greeks, as a matter of fact I think they are a beautiful people (not easily equatable with indifference or cruelty to animals), but I would be tempted to ask the question what they then make of the quote by their forefather Pythagoras???

The wise man who taugth me about the term Gods little people also taugth to never inflict more than 10% pain to any living creature. It had such a deep resonance in me. It must ring true in any soulful creature. So... Well, deliberate ignorance is one thing but there is also such a thing as when you see a problem and choose not to act or respond you also position yourself. Until you decide to respond... you actually also decide not to respond. And indifference to a problem can also mean inflicting more than 10% pain.

Shakesphere said "The eyes are the windows to the soul." I truly believe that if you look into the eyes of  an animal you can see the soul. Doesn't that call out for something in you? If nothing else, then just soul to soul.

Image ©johnydaystudio at Flickr

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Didn't stand a chance

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So, talking about cats having to win the lotto to land up having a half decent life in Greece. Well, as you can imagine, I've experienced many things over the last few months which have made me very sad. "Free" roaming sheep and cows tied with a short rope from front leg to back leg, preventing them roaming too far. Donkeys carrying a load (plus their owner) where you seriously think their legs are going to give in or their backs are going to brake. Horses standing in the glaring sun, also tied up on a short rope, with no shade to retire to. Yes, you have to understand (even though it is seriously hard in the 21st century!!) that this is still a culture of  largely agricultural people, and animals have a completely different standing. No emotional attachment. 

And so coming back to cats, they are considered a pest on the scale of rodents. You see them by every dumpster placed along the roads, scouring through every bit of human garbage for a bit of edible food. So what does a cat mum do with her tiny kittens?? She shows them the way to the nearest possible chance of survival - the dumpsters! I know, because I just learned it the hard way. My husband and I were on our way home one night at few weeks ago when we suddenly saw two tiny - way too tiny being outside their cat den - right in the middle of the road. We were truly horrified, because it was obvious that it would be a sure death for them. We stopped and to our horror we instantly discovered 4 more! Their feral mum sat at quite a distance (obviously frigthened of  humans). Luckily I had a tin tray and wet cat food in the car and with my husbands help we very quickly got them on the other side of a fence where all 6 of them gathered around the tin tray and ate their hearts out (yes, we also placed some food for cat mum). One little one (Ginger above) seemed a bit hesitant  but eventually went for the food as well. 

As we weren't able to take the kittens ourselves, we instantly started asking local cat lovers for help. Sadly they weren't able to help, being inundated by cats already. We therefore decided that we would stop by everyday leaving a bit of food morning and evening, hoping it would stop them crossing the road to the dumpters (it became apparent that their den was somewhere on the other side of the road).

A few days later when we stopped by there were tiny cries coming from the dumpters. Two of the kittens had made it inside a newly emptied huge dumpster, but where they were now trapped inside. They were frantically trying to get out, and I litterally had to crawl inside the dumpster to grab them because it was so tall. And that's when my heart sank deep beneath the earth. There, at the bottom of the dumpster, I saw a pair of tiny ginger legs sticking out from under some rubbish. Ginger appeared to have been hit by a car and discarded in the dumpster. I can't possibly describe how sad I felt because something in my instinct told me that Ginger wouldn't make it. He/she (too young to tell) seemed very tender on the few occassions we saw him/her. One day when they were all eating there was a sudden strong gust of wind and Ginger sat back, obviously overwhelmed by the strong wind in his/her face.

I wanted to make a mark about this tender little life, so brought Ginger back home to the garden, and whilst my husband dug a whole next to the cat bones recently discovered in the garden, I made a little ceremony washing away the blood from Gingers face and gently placed him/her in the earth. I placed a big flat stone on top of the grave hoping I might one day spot a cat sitting on it!   

As for the rest of the kittens we've finally found a blessed soul who were able to help. They've rescued two thus far, whilst they continue to feed the rest. We made the agreement that it would be at our cost. Couldn't be any other way. They all crept way under our skin. As for cat mum... I feel certain somehow that it's a load off her skinny shoulders. 

P.S. For some curious reason I felt compelled to capture Ginger on my mobile and this is the one and only photo I took.


Random rugged beauty

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These last few months have been so unbelieveably busy. You might not believe it possible, but the intensity in Greece is so much more... well intense, than in the much cooler Scandinavia where I come from. On my way to and fro to places I have though managed to catch a few snapshots of the random rugged beauty you find everywhere in Greece. When I stopped to capture the beauty of these old mint colored shutters with these gorgeuos red hibiscus in front, I spotted this little tabby in the garden just behind the house. And it was quite a rare sight around here, because it was actually reasonbly well looked after. What's so special about that?? Well, seems to me that a cat in Greece has got to win the lotto to end up having just a half decent life quality . More in the post to come...