A heart of gold merits kindness from a stranger

So you have heard about this hero vet of ours several times this year. There's just simply no way we could do what we do without his tireless efforts, fantastic attitude, warming love for the animals and a very very patient demeanor! I can't count the times we've rushed to the practice with a cat in need with no time to call in advance. In spite of people in the waiting room and us trying to squeeze in in between furry patients, we have never have we met a disgruntled face but always kindness and an instant willingness to help the cat in need. When we've had an emergency like we did this summer with Snowy having a very serious asthmatic attack, he instantly left the practice and came to Snowy's rescue. As a matter of fact he's often come at the end of long working hours to tend to some of our kitties, involving a long drive too. But it's always been the same... just kindness and such love and compassion for the cats. Added to this we have always been treated to a very favorable price for these stray kitties... I don't know if people are this lucky any other place in Greece! We count ourselves very lucky - truly! As you can imagine the yearly vet bill would be off the charts with nearly 40 cats (plus treatment for the occasional dumpster cat). 

It's not easy knowing how to repay such to us invaluable kindness, but this Christmas I got to pass a  very sweet treat from a complete stranger. 

A little while back I saw this really cool t-shirt on Etsy that I just thought he would love. It was worn by Jackson Galaxy, the star of My Cat From Hell on Animal Planet (boy would I love for him to come around sometime!!). When I saw the opening statement of the shop owners profile, I instantly thought I was in the company of like-minded souls: 

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated" ~ Mahatma Gandhi 

- I actually used this very quote in an early blog post!

Reading a little more about the terrific people behind this shop I realized I was in the company of animal lovers and people who do good in this world. They donate towards animal shelters and nature disasters. With this is mind I dared write to them telling them about the cats I rescue and asked if they might be open to donate a t-shirt to a man who does so much good for animals. Anyone who's ever inquired about donations for any cause knows it can be a bit far and wide in between kind responses. So I was both amazed and over the moon when I received the sweetest reply, instantly asking for my address. I was frankly bolted over by their upfront and instant kindness. A very sweet correspondence started and lo and behold... a few weeks later this cool t-shirt was in my mailbox! 

This allowed for us to drop by just a few days ago to pass this special surprise to Manos, our vet. It was great for once being able to pass a kindness in return - and it even involving kindness from complete strangers. 

So here he is proudly wearing the t-shirt. Some friends of ours (also real cat lovers) met him later in the day in the practice showing off his new t-shirt... (I think he does love it!!).

At home with his own cats after a long working day... He travels to the surrounding islands with veterinary service and has pioneered so many good things and projects for the Greek cats and animals. He is their advocate and voice for sure. 

And to sweet Abby (cool t-shirt super model), Toni and Mark... THANK YOU!  I can't even begin to convey how heart warming and magic your kindness has been. 

To check out their cool goods head over to their Etsy shop RCTEES.

Merry Christmas all!!


sunshine said…
He certainly looks like he has a wonderful caring soul, what a great blessing to have him around.

Please thank him on behalf of us your readers for all the great things he does for those lovely animals and specially your kitties.

Happy Christmas to you, your kitties and of course Manos!!!
Sandra said…
You have the bestest vet and I am so happy you were able to get him such a special gift. I wish there were at least a few vets like him per country... who do their job with love and passion, no matter what.

Merry Christmas dear Joan!
Bless those that give so richly to others, especially the small, the fragile, the weak. Your Vet is a miracle maker.
Merry Christmas from all of us at ManxMnews
You have a very kind and caring vet. It was lovely of the people at RC Tees to donate the T shirt for you. The link to them isn't working for us. We are getting a 404 error not found.
We wish you a happy Christmas.
What an Angel on earth...just like you!
Cornelia said…
Am grateful and honored to see and read your post. Such a kind man - a true hero with a passion and a calling to save lives. Your words convey true magic, the real story. How wonderful to get to see his eyes and his smile. The magic of X-mass with compassion, care and purpose is so alive with you all in Syros - a testimony of great deeds in a world which needs it very much. What a meaningful X-mass it is!
Cornelia said…
RCTEES on Etsy is a gem <3
Thank you so much and Merry X-mass and sweet wishes for you and your merry babies!
Annuk said…
Oh Joan, this is such a wonderful Christmas story, so heartwarming and happy-making!!!!! I always think that wonderful people end up meeting in life... and this the living proof! What a wonderful story!
Manos is an amazing Man and a real Vet, he deserves a capital letter for both these titles! He truly deserves that t-shirt, because he IS a REAL MAN! We need more Men like him, more heroes like him! Hat off, Manos!!! When I come visit you in Syros, I must absolutely meet him, because I want to thank him in person!
The people at RCTEES sound wonderful too! Such a beautiful "chain-reaction" of acts of kindness! :)

All my best wishes to you, dearest Joan, and your adorable kitties!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Annuk said…
Oh, and Kala Xristougenna kai Kales Giortes to Manos!!!! S'efxaristoume PARA polyyyyyy!!!!!!!
Anonymous said…
What a wonderful veterinarian to know who can help you with the cats. You are lucky beyond words. Every rescue organization should be so fortunate.

I like reading about the cats very much. You will never forget the ones that don't survive but you can find a bit of comfort knowing that you tried.
Dear Joan,
so nice for you and the cats to meet this mind related vet. You did a fabulous gift with this t-shirt. It looks so cute. I think he is happy with this gift and your appreciativeness. You both so a great job for all those cats. I wish you wonderful holidays around Christmas.
Best greetings, Johanna
Marg said…
Oh that is so great. There really are some awesome people in the world. That sounds like a wonderful guy to take care of the animals like that. We also wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope that Santa brings all the cats some good health. Have a great day.
Bossy Betty said…
What a great guy AND a great t-shirt too! Merry Christmas!
Crafting Queen said…
What a grea t-shirt and sounds like a wonderful person. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! Lots of hugs.
Anna E said…
Hvilken dejlig og sentimented julegave til alle os blog-læsere; At dele ud af julens rubinhjerte ved at dele værdierne for denne helt fænomenale mand, gentleman og dyrlæge. Han, som har givet, og giver, så meget til andre - både dyr og mennesker - af sin uselviskhed og omsorg. At vise det med en erkendtlighed som T-shirten, er helt i top, og så måden du fik den på..! :-) Hvis der var en græsk version af "Årets Dyreven" er jeg sikker på, han ville være udvalgt som en af de 5, men kunne stemme på!! xox til både dig og Manos!!!
Dearest Joan,
That looks like the perfect gift for a kind person that LOVES and protects cats! Also very kind of the Etsy shop owners for donating this to you. Thanks to them as well.
Here the local vets also do lots of good work for the animal shelters, spaying and neutering for a very low fee etc. But it seems that still we all are falling short of handling the indifference of so many that just abandon their cats and let them have litter after litter.
Hope you had a great Christmas and will enjoy your 2nd Christmas day as well.
Hugs to you,
What a great guy! Love the t-shirt!
Dearest Joan , I wish you and your loved ones, including all your four-legged furry ones, a wonderful Christmas.XXX Bea
Anna E said…
Translation of my comment, so Manos understands it as well :-) :
What a lovely and sentimented Christmas present for all of us blog-followers; To share the Ruby-heart of christmas by sharing your values for this fenomenal man, gentleman and vet. He, who has given - and continually gives - so much to others - animals as well as humans - of his unselfishness and care. To show him the acknowledgement by giving him this T-shirt, is so great, and the whole story behind it, and how it came to be.
If there was a greek version of the danish reward "Animalfriend of the Year", I am certain he would be one of the 5 nominees!! xox (kisses and hug) for both you and Manos!!
Love the tshirt. I'm so happy you have a great vet that works with you. You do so much for the cats without much of a support system. Thank you for all you do.
Cornelia said…
Reading aain with thirst the very touching acts of salvation of "God's Little People" and how your hero vet is/was always there helping in the most critical instants. Serious life decisions. Your sharings are a testimony of rare sentiments, discoveries and knowings. Those sharings of human action to save life -are sublime, are sacred, are from another world, are to be praised and raised and to be rejoiced in the heart and in the mind again and again. I am grateful and honored to be your reader and cannot find words to express my gratitude. All the best with love from one of your followers.
MarkD60 said…
Love the t-shirt, and Ghandi's quote. I have heard it before.
Happy Holidays, you are a hero too!
Goodmorning from Aegean sea (on a ferry from Athens to Syros).

I am not used to all these nice comments. I experiance new feelings reading them and feel nice. Thank you so much all of you.

Joan is doing a fantastic job at Syros and is rescuing many many cats on daily basis. A REAL 'fight'. Supporting her 'work' is not just a job for me. She saves cat's lifes every day. So lucky these god's little people which are under her care.

I wish you all Happy New Year.

Catherine said…
Such a beautiful soul indeed! I think there is a special place in heaven for those that are so kind to animals. Beautiful! Love it.
xo Catherine
Marie said…
Like, like, like!!!!
Barbara said…
I love that shirt, but most of all I love getting to 'meet' that saint of a vet of yours!! Give him thanks from Texas for the work he does!
505whimsygirl said…
Very cool! You can just tell, looking at your vet, that he's found his true calling and loves what he does! Bless him (and you) for all you do for the strays of your little island!


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