Once upon a time, four little kittens were born at a Greek dump. A kind lady named Joan saw their plight and decided to help. Even though she already had 40+ rescue cats, and couldn't take them in, she raised funds to have them neutered and vaccinated.
But Joan realized these four were special, and she didn't want to have to return them to the dump after surgery. She hoped and prayed that somehow, she'd find a way to save them from this life.Joan has seen many cats perish here, some of them the victims of poisoning. But even after four months of living this way, these four were extremely sweet, lovely kittens.
I know all about the wonderful work Joan does. (Check out her God's Little People blog and Facebook page.) I had already adopted three of her wonderful cats, my "Greek Trio." And I figured that if I could take in those three, I could foster the quartet and find adoptive homes for them in North America. So I told Joan that she didn't have to return them to the dump. We would work out a way to get them here.
Archie and Amber
I said I would pay for the costs of their transport, but in fact, Joan's wonderful supporters raised pretty much all the money we needed to get the cats here. Joan's husband was going to bring the cats to me, but then Joan fell and fractured her hip in the garden.
Long story short, they asked me to come to Greece to get the cats.
So I did, and I also had a lovely time visiting Joan and Richard, and giving Joan a bit of the help (she is on the mend and looking great!)
"What a relief!" - Aggie and Annuk
Amber and Aggie
So this past Wednesday, the quartet and I started our long journey back to Canada. 21 hours door to door!
It started at the small airport in Syros, from which the cats flew in two small crates to Athens, where we transferred them to the larger crates in the picture above. Richard kindly flew with me to Athens to help me out.
From Athens, the cats and I flew to Munich, where were switched planes and continued on to our final destination: Montreal.
On a Bombardier DHC-8-400 (ooo, Canadian!), we flew away from their beautiful island (the arrow points to the spot they lived in!)
Everytime I got on an aircraft, I had the flight attendant ask the pilot to ensure the cats were also on the plane. I also demanded the same of the gate agents! They were all very kind and let me know that the cats were fine.
Many hours later (as I fretted about the kitties!), we flew in over the St. Lawrence River. This part was near the Saguenay. Still wintery!
Closer to Montreal, the St. Lawrence was still very frozen and in fact, when I finally left Montreal airport, it was snowing like crazy.)
It couldn't have been a pleasant day for the cats, but they fared remarkably well! They didn't even soil their crates.
The next morning, they were still a little sleepy (jet-lagged like me!) but by yesterday afternoon, they are lively, playful and hungry!
I spent a fair bit of time with them yesterday. This is beautiful Aggie!
For now they are in the same room in the barn that the Trio lived in when they first arrived. I am very hopeful that I will get some of them adopted out very soon.
Annuk enjoying multiple heat sources! It finally hit 10C yesterday but it's still not as warm as Greece usually is.
Amazingly, Amber was still happy to spend time in her crate yesterday!
But then she came out to inspect the toys.
She's a bit shy and likes to sit back and observe, but what a lovely girl!
Aggie is a bit more adventurous.
Archie was checking out Missy, who was checking out everybody!
Archie and Aggie on the sheepskin that the Trio came with. Smells like Greece! :)
Amber sharpening her claws
Aggie and Archie in a basket
Archie is dying to get out into the barn but that cat door is locked and will be for a bit longer!
Amber, Aggie, Archie
Annuk didn't seem to mind being back in her crate either!
So they are settling in very well. Last night Gordon spent half an hour playing with them and they were quite happy. I'm relieved their long journey is over!
I am very much missing Joan, Richard, their cats, Greece, and this...
Saganaki, or fried Greek cheese. Oh my, SO good. The food in Greece was spectacular, the people warm and helpful. I can't wait to go back for another visit. I'd like to bring back more cats! :)
Have a great weekend and if you are interested in adopting one of these Greek beauties (the cats, not the cheese), do let me know. (They are about seven months old now.) Or consider donating to Joan's rescue operation in Greece, which you can do here, using the Paypal button at the top right of the page. I can assure you, she does wonderful work for stray cats there.
Have a great weekend!
PS This is Jessie. I nicknamed her "Love Chunk" and we had much quality cuddle time while I was there!