During my recent trip to Greece I came in contact with cats, a lot of cats. A quick Google search reveals that most Greeks feel that cats are not exactly house pets, but a wild species best left to their own devices. As a result they wander the streets and ancient ruins with pretty much no human interference.
Even we Americans know that one doesn’t own a cat. A cat owns us. If a cat wants something, it gets it. All the while plotting their happy little owner’s demise. When we come home from work the dog greets us with gusto. He jumps, yelps, and licks while his tail wags at 100 miles an hour. The cat, on the other hand, stands aloof, as if to reprimand us for not being at her disposal all day. She may, if it suits her, decide to saunter by and rub against our legs; simply to piss off the dog. We hear her purr and we imagine it is for us, which in all reality may not be the case.
Grecian cats strolled around many of the outdoor restaurants and cafes. They sunned themselves on walls and threaded their way through the crowded streets full of multi national tourists. Most looked well fed and fairly healthy. They were not pets but not exactly what we Americans would call feral. They lay beside humans and begged with only their presence. Who but a local could refuse their enormous staring eyes? These cats have perfected the art of begging. They remind me of the squirrels and chipmunks in National parks that know just what cute little tricks to do to get the goofy human to toss them a few nuts.
My husband who fancies himself a Dr. Dolittle tried to pet a docile looking black and white cat lounging on a path and was put in his place with a quick swat of the paw. That’ll teach you, lesson learned. They are not house cats.
Evenings in Greece are beautiful, cool and comfortable not even requiring an air conditioner, and there are very few bugs. So as we went out to dinner in one of the many outdoor cafes, we chose to leave the windows to our hotel room open. Do you see where I am going with this?
Returning to our room after a delicious dinner, we turned on the lights and proceeded to get ready for bed. A strange sound was coming from the sofa, and, to our surprise we saw a large ginger cat casually using the back of the couch as a scratching post. It just stared, and not the sweet large eyed, begging stare. It was a look that said we were the intruders and it was standing it’s ground.
Shaken, I turned to my husband with a look that said, “What should we do?” "Should we call the desk?" Or do we just wait and see if it’s friendly?
My husband tiptoed over to the door, and opened it. (Not really sure why he tiptoed since the cat already saw us and they can't fly) Then he comically deepened his voice and said, “SHOO.” Seriously? Shoo? This was steadily becoming a cartoon. I almost expected Jerry from Tom and Jerry to jump out from behind the sofa. My husband repeated his shooing while ridiculously flailing his arms. The cat jumped off the sofa and casually, with a regal toss of it’s head, walked out the front door, but not before I snapped his pic.
Maybe the Greeks have it right after all. Cats should just be left to their own devices. They can use people when they want. They can walk around like they own the place, because in their minds they do. And nature can take care of the rest.
|The beauty of Greece|
|Our beautiful hotel in Mykonos|