My Greek kitty crew

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fit paw: Check!


Tiny is extending a high five to say thanks for all your lovely little well-wishes and good advice. Luckily his paw was back to normal size the following morning - big sigh of relief! Tiny is a feral cat at heart so even though we've come a very long way - lots of sweet strokes - he does not like confinement and I simply wouldn't be able to examine his paw. It's a major  patience exercise interacting with a feral and as some of you will know, you will simply have to persist if you hope to one day interact with the cat. But the reward is so great - to feel that such a furry little bundle one day come and show you its trust - woo hoo!! It's totally worth it. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dear poor


... or dear paw to be more specific. This evening as I was feeding all the little furry bundles I almost had to rub my eyes to see if I really did see it right - that Tiny's paw was this size. Double its normal size! It's difficult to say what happened - we've got some seriously horrible brambles around here and even though we tried to remove them all it's difficult to keep cats from walking into neighboring fields. Or it could be a bee sting... the little ones unfortunately love trying to catch anything that flies. Or a snake bite. Wish I knew. Anyway... he was limping but luckily had a healthy appetite. The vet said not to worry unless he was salivating or in a depressed state. He wasn't exactly jumping about with his friends... he took a more quiet approach - watching the games and play from a distance.  I'm sure it must be throbbing and quite painful. So fingers crossed that the swelling will have gone down by tomorrow. 

More updates soon.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Why I fall in love again and again


Walking through town the other day I suddenly spotted this little black beauty soundly asleep on a doorstep. He never even noticed me as I knelt down and snapped a little bit of the essence of his blissful sleep. Probably just another unwanted cat - or maybe he is lucky to be looked after. I don't know. But living in a country where all these little beauties are up for grabs - I find myself falling in love again and again. Don't they all deserve to feel that there's a such a thing as human care. When your heart is filled with that feeling - it's oh so difficult to not want to scoop up every little precious creature. I once got caught by a sentence written by Barack Obama... "The power to be kind." Yes, that's it. It's a power we have. And the power to love. I'm overflowing.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The motley kitty crew


A question appeared in the comment box in the last post - how many cats do I have? Well, first of all, I believe they have me more than I have them :-) But to answer the question - it varies. In this garden there's somewhere between 12-15. A few comes and goes. Then there's two different small colonies around the island (one of colonies having been abandoned by the person who fed them) so all in all I daily feed around 25-30 cats. Apart from Tiny, Ninja, Benji and Mr. Moggles, here's the local motley kitty crew (as a friend so endearingly named them all) in order of appearance. Well, first of all above there's Stempel (named by a child and refers to the kneading movement a cat makes). I discovered from an image taken a few years ago that she was actually here before we arrived. I've got no idea who she belongs to, but she is extremely friendly and has never walked away. She's definitely the matriarch of the place and gently beats up newcomers until they know who's in charge!!

Then there's Pepper - Tiny and Ninja's kitty mom. She was initially fed by a man who comes to tend to his hobby garden once or twice a week. But as we all know - it doesn't quite work like that... feeding a cat once or twice a week. He doesn't seem to mind I've taken over!

Eddison (above) and Molly arrived at the same time... after a day of a very serious torrential rainfall. I think they literally got washed down the hillside. They are the sweetest little couple - a boy and a girl (not sisters and brothers - he is an adult, she is a kitten). They seem to depend on each other for everything... warmth, sleep, eating. Eddison is very shy and sweet...

Molly is little and scrappy! She hisses at all other cats but is really a little dearie. 

Humphrey seemed to belong to a house a bit further up the road, but the people left at the beginning of January and after that he just got skinnier and skinnier. He seemed to get depressed too - you'd never see his tail up in the air - so I decided to encourage him to come for food and for the company of the other cats. He tentatively accepted (I believe he's been used to being a single cat), but he was of course hungry and he actually seems to have taken to the company very well. Now his tail is in the air whenever it's feeding time!

Ruby arrived after a snow storm in early March - very emaciated. I think she needs the reassurance of knowing there will be food, because she literally sleeps next to the food box. She is very sweet and appreciative. 

Last but not least - the very latest newcomer - a tropical cat named Harvey. A darling arigumi creation by my sweet blogger friend from Grand Cayman. As you can see he has got the approval by Mr. Moggles - no hissing or fighting, just gentle acceptance :-) Thank you Sunshine, we all love him!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The charm alliance

Mr. Moggles has made a few photographic appearances, so let me introduce him a bit further. I first noticed him a cold evening in early January. He was skinny and rummaging around a local dumpster and in the search for a pretty girl. I started leaving a bit of food for him, because there's not really any people living in this area in winter time - hence no scraps in the dumpster to live off. Well, he soon realized there was one house where other cats seemed to thrive and there was a pretty girl too! Silly as I was I thought the pretty girl was neutered, because she showed no interest in the boys whereas Tiny and Ninja's kitty mom was off having fun with the local boys in no time (yes, I've learned a lot about how fast you need to be about neutering!!). Little did I know that just because a girl shows no interest, it doesn't mean you can't pursue her. Whenever Mr. Moggles was fed he was a  real friendly cat but when he pursued the girl he'd laid his eyes on - phew... you could seriously talk about a split personality. One day he chased the poor girl up a tree and when I found the two of them up the tree 8 hours later I thought it was time to rescue the poor girl. You could talk about a battle of forces - no way was he gonna come down! I physically had to push him down with a broom and there was a lot of hissing and spewing of mouth water. Ironically, when he was finally down, it was a piece of cake getting him in a transport box and off to the vet I went to have him neutered. When he came home the next day I let him have 24 hours inside to recover. You simply wouldn't believe it was the same cat. He turned into a cuddly jellyfish and rolled on his back to expose his tummy for rubs. He was perfectly content will all the food,  fuss and TLC. Well, that was the beginning of Mr. Moggles settling around here. I kind of thought he'd be off again some day - but he's stayed ever since. He will steal your every ounce of attention (he follows me everywhere) and will do what it takes to avert my attention from the little ones - Tiny, Ninja and now Benji. 

The other day when I was taking some new close ups of the little ones all the attention with my camera got too much for him and he couldn't resist jumping up right in front of the camera to steal the attention.  If you look at his face you can almost see him conjuring up a plan for how to also appear in a real charming way in the images, so he seemed to in the above image to turn his head toward Ninja as if thinking; "Well, maybe if I wash the little one."

It worked! I of course couldn't resist capturing Ninja getting the first proper wash since his mom left in early January.  

He loved it...

- but was left asking for more of that nice TLC which only another feline friend can give. It didn't last too long - Mr. Moggles seemed to think that it at least got him in the images. But it did give him the merit of the title nice uncle Moggles. He doesn't care much for the company of the adult cats around but he seem to love the company of Tiny, Ninja and Benji. They play beautifully together and he knows to be gentle with them. Even Benji (to his bewilderment) got a great big wet facial slurp yesterday. Knowing they have different backgrounds, there's something very endearing about seeing how these four male cats have teamed up. 

Images ©Joan Rachlitz Bowell

Saturday, April 2, 2011

In the absence of human interference

An innocent little comment from yesterday - "God never wanted us to mow the yard" (thank you Mark) reminded me of a documentary I saw a while back, which I back then thought worth mentioning here. So upon remembering it, here it is...

This clip above is from a documentary called Chernobyl: Life in the dead zone. It's an eerie portrayal of animals resilience and amazing ability for survival - and most eerie of all; what life on this planet looks like in the absence of human interference (and what a sad dichotomy it is)... it looks like a garden of eden!

I happened upon this documentary quite by chance but I promise it is very worthwhile watching. It's about how animals have survived (even living with radiation) and adapted to life after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. It's nature taking over where there were once humans. Just so beautiful, peaceful and still. 

It's chilling in the light of the current situation in Japan but also strangely enchanting and  not just a little bit  thought provoking. 

You can watch the full documentary for free several places online - simply Google the title and lots of results will appear. 

P.S. There's a kitty story in it that will capture your heart!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Why the weeds should stay

Well, I simply wouldn't be able to capture these darling wee folk lost in their own time and space if it wasn't because of these tall weeds. It's good for following interesting buzzing insects...

It's good for hiding when you're playing...


It's good for a quiet shaded snooze...

It's good for a shielded place to soak up some warming sunny rays... So they should stay for a while, right?! :-) 

Wishing you a lovely weekend.