Friday, April 10, 2015

The Quartet and I have made it safely to Canada!

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.

"She WHAT?!"

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!


  1. the next person that tells me they can't keep their cats because they are moving gets this post put in front of their faces..

  2. Anonymous11:07 am

    I nominate Natalie for sainthood! So glad you and the kitties had a good trip home. Well done!

  3. So glad you and they all arrived in Canada safely. Thank you for giving them this chance of a loving home. Hugs to you and the kitties.

  4. I'm glad you all had a safe journey! I really wish I could take one of them. (Though I keep buying my lottery tickets!)

  5. Bless your heart Natalie. Glad you and the kitties made it home safe.

  6. we follow Joan too. THANK YOU for taking on such a trip to help these kitties.....

  7. Beautiful kitties and beautiful Joan for saving them!

  8. Big relief to have you and the cats safely home.They look wonderful.

  9. Such strikingly beautiful cats should find their furrever homes pretty quickly!
    Jane x

  10. Natalie you and Joan are SAINTS. I know all about cat travel; I've just done it with three cats for the fifth time ! Our cats have always traveled with us to the next job in Africa; now they've come home to South Africa. I'm surprised you didn't have all sorts of admin to complete. This way the airline and passport control staff know you have live cargo on board. Thanks again for doing this great good deed. Bless you. Jo

  11. Welcome back. The girls are beauties.

  12. So glad all went well for you and the kitties ! They are very pretty all of them ! I am sure they will find forever homes ! Thanks for sharing , have a good weekend !

  13. You are ALL Angels...I have tears in my eyes. The kitties look none the worse for wear. Your calming presence probably helped them bunches. Praying they are adopted soon! Oh and that cheese looks DELIGHTFUL!! So glad you are all home safe and sound!

  14. What an adventure...traveling across the globe with 4 cats. They are adorable...and we purr they all find purrfect homes.

  15. That was some trip! I hope you find somebody to take the cats.

  16. so glad that you are all home safely...such beauties...each one....

  17. You're a saint; congratulations. Lovely cats.

  18. Natalie! Thank you so much for this glowing account of the story of the quartet. The simple fact is, that had you not stepped in, I would have had to drop them back in the field after neutering. The first day when I found them by the dumpster I was caught by their sweetness and was overwhelmed by a feeling of sadness that they would become little unknown cats living in the wild and only surviving on the two meals I provide the dumpster cats each day. Even though they had a better start than most because I managed to provide them with double vaccinations (because of people's kind donations) I know I couldn't protect them from the various dangers facing them - as mentioned I've lost countless young cats in this spot alone - so I'm genuinely so delighted and deeply relieved on their behalf. Each of their unique little characters has had a chance to bloom and appear and it's been the greatest pleasure handing them over into your loving hands. It's a wonderful story of human kindness and caring people - but for me it's also a story of a very special friendship. I'm honored to have made your friendship!!

    1. Likewise!!! And I need to come back for more cats (and to see you!) Or you can come here and bring me Ruben, Callie, Love Chunk,,,

  19. You, Gordon, Joan, and Richard are angels!

  20. So happy to hear you and the kitties made it home safely. I hope now they are able to find their forever homes soon. They're adorable!

  21. What a sweet thing you did :-) Those Kitties a surely blessed :-)

  22. My heart goes out to those beautiful little kitties. They deserve happy, loving homes. The wonderful work that you and Gordon do and the great work your Greek angels do is inspiring. Thank goodness for people like you!

  23. God bless you all. There really are angels that walk this earth. You are all in our prayers of thanks.
    Relieved to hear the cats traveled well.
    Will Jessie be joining Ruben on the next trip?

  24. Do they make cat sounds with a Greek accent? Congratulations, you lucky person! You are the face of true multiculturalism!

  25. Such beautiful markings on your new Greek Quartet. It must be hard to give up such gorgeous kitties but I'm sure you're seeing that they go to loving homes. I love following your photo stories of all the fur babies.


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!