Didn't stand a chance

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.


Louise said…
Hvor forfærdeligt at læse. Får en klump i halsen hver gang jeg læser om dyrs illebefindende. Hver måned støtter jeg WSPA med 500, i håb om at de bliver brugt fornuftigt og at de faktisk gør en forskel. Jeg ville slet ikke kunne på i udlandet, hvor dyrs forhold er så langt fra her i Danmark.

men btw, så faldt jeg lige over din blog her den anden dag, og er rigtig glad for at læse med. Du skal have så mange plus point for den indsats du gør for de katte. det er virkelig godhjertet af dig. Hvis flere bare ville gøre samme indsats... :)

Hej Louise!
Tusind tak for din hilsen, og rigtig dejligt at du har lyst til at læse med. Er selv med i WSPA - sad faktisk med deres seneste blad her til morgen, og glædede mig over deres indsats med de bjørne der bliver brugt til kamp med hunde (frygteligt!).
Er selv af den opfattelse af at HVER en lille indsats tæller.
sunshine said…
I am sad to hear about Ginger and how she couldn't make it but in a way she is in a much better place now.

As far as the other kitties go, they hit the jackpot by being found by you... But the luckiest one is you for having such an amazing and kind soul. Blessings to you and may the happiness and care you give those animals, comes back to you in full circle.
Sunshine, thanks so much for your kind words. Yes, I'm afraid I also believe Ginger is in a better place. I can't describe the kind of happiness I find in the company of animals. I never want to be any other place than where I am when I am with them. Feel so complete in their company.
Thanks again.
Elettra said…
Fortunately, who hesitate people so you for to help the animals.Is was a pleasure to read your story
Thanks very much Elettra and thank you for stopping by!
Anna E said…
What a heartbreaking story!!! And a very sad truth about the situation for cats in Greece. But hey, you might end up saving all the kittens on that greek iceland, and even change the mind of some of the people living there!? Anyway, I am sure your actions have already changed a print in the astral light, and made it easier for others to stop and help a kitten next time they see one!..
PS I certainly hope, your garden won´t turn into a graveyard for cats - but what an honourable act of care to offer a last sanctuary for Ginger there..

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