It’s something I wished to do it from the last year but always postponed. It’s time to dedicate few photos for those gave a like or became followers to my blog. They are all animal lovers and I appreciate a lot their effort though this period of my life I don’t own any pet because some reasons push me and eventualy left rural life. Now, I inhabit in the center of the city, living an dead urban life (sigh).
The beneath photos are for you, my friends:
Cats & Dogs and Rock ‘n’ Roll
This article is dedicated to a different cat of this world, which flourished in my life and gradually convinced me that all animals are unique, in a strange, peculiar way as finally humans are. Through this humble text, wish to show how an intimately indifferent animal turned to be a beloved one, changed to be my most favored pet.
I must declare that generally love animals. My based philosophy is that we, humans are gifted from God’s grace with the present of life, inhabit planet earth for some unknown for every each of us years and… we are obliged to leave earth and its territories with the less possible footprint leaving behind us, and manage its fauna & flora wealth in great wisdom. So I said, I respect all living creatures, may be some more and some less but all have their living space depending on each one’s habits.
Believing that human characters, in a whole-sale generality, are normally divided into cat-lovers and dog-lovers, matching some personal signs via those species, I would place myself as a dog lover. I didn’t accept cats that time as they didn’t express me.
Few years ago, I used to run an awesome small farm with… apart the planting staff cultivating there, bred up some species from the animal kingdom as well. Among them was my close friend Rexakis, a male Labrador that as newborn puppy came to my embrace. And… we had been living happy until that day.
One evening, little before the sun goes to sleep and I close the stall and the chicken, Rexakis’ barks brought me under an olive tree where a few-weeks-born kitten tried to escalate its trunk. I took it to my hands immediately and through the front iron gate of the farm I push it out. (It’s stupid to remark if I closed this door behind me because kitten are able to pass even through a small slot, not from the front sliding gate that had holes all over). Actually, when I returned to the olive tree -beside was the door of the chickens, I found it there again trying to escalate the same tree. Don’t estimate the front door was too close. In details, the distance, between tree and gate was a hundred to hundred twenty meters far. I repeated the same and this time passed through the gate, I left my property behind me and I put it gently some two hundred meters far, even more with Rexakis barking and dancing all around me. And… the same. I found the kitten again under the tree for the second time, again. What had happened? My little fellow, searching for a place to stay, she realized that yes I drove it away, but… I had saved it from the dog. So, she knew she had found her stupid owner to grow her up, the one she had chosen. So, the third time I show her the way out was simply easy to return and by begging me strongly to keep her I consented. I’ve never amended.
Pets are good to spend some time with them, to have good time with, and generally they give joy as far as you enjoy petting them, walking together and playing with. Before my rural life back in the apartment of Athens, I always used to have a pet, a bird, a turtle, a Guinea Pig or dog. But you should agree… working animals are different. They earn their living and as a miracle are useful in a specific task. They are admirable and must enjoy our respect as working colleagues. Thus, my dog as a working animal many times had saved me from thieves of any kind, from suspicious humans in my property and the birds and livestock from the attack of foxes, raccoons and finally had been a great guard. I gradually realized that my cat came to be equal as my dog and sometimes better. I was really astonished performing that she grasped mice –an “epidemic” for pet food in summer months- guarded the place from snakes and generally kept safe the birds. The most amazing was that we, as three frontiers patrolled the place almost every night. Zouzou -that I was called her- strolled down the paths and alleys with me and Rexakis when some nights turned around detecting the area and stalls, after some strange noise had alarmed us. I, as chief of the cohort with the torch-lighter in hand, the dog left side, the cat right side walked slowly, checking up, first the alleys and stalls and next all around the paddock and fences searching for mal-strangers and bird enemies. Oh! Believe me were awesome times!
The main reasons I initially rejected the idea of having a cat was that first they may crap freely all around when are free in nature –not in an apartment where you may teach them- and thus I was afraid for my plantings, and second they are by a general rule a kind of thieves. From my own experience, I know that a cat can be found in the kitchen, on the table, stealing the food from your plate, even if it has just eaten. I certainly abort that. It may some people eat from the same plate. I don’t…!
But rules have their exceptions and laws their violation. My cat, Zouzou was an absolutely different cat, an exception from any rule. The fact to be how she came to be i.e. such a nice personality, a worker cat, a unique creature follows beneath.
From the above about cats mentioned hurdles, possibly only in my mind, I kept Zouzou far from the house, wanting to keep her out of the household. My two floor building was some hundred meters far from the stalls. Next and… indenting to hunt mice in the night, I fed her in the morning and noon and never the night. Of course, growing up she discovered house but never came inside, no matter if sometimes later was invited. She generally stood as Lady near us, as I had never found shit anywhere or saw her doing it in the fresh-shoveled ground. We know that cats buried them but I never noticed a suspicious sign round the place I used to plant.
From the other hand, she was a beautiful cat! What a face! What a mood! What a foxy perception!
Zouzou had always been a weak cat no matter how much she ate. I mean… she wasn’t that trophy champions of weight fat cats. She’d never been overweighed but a nice light, delicate figure of a lady. Bright, clever eyes, multicolored stripes covered all her body from black, white, grey and violet lines. Her little lazy-like, dominant and independent pace added to her whole appearance the kind of a unique, rich in grace walking. Thoughtful as she’d never cost me any damage.
Zouzou wasn’t a coddle cat but a rather half-wild. She never stood to be fondled by someone, including me, though seldom came to me blandishing round my feet and when I bend to pet her back she left with bright eyes telling me her wishes from… afar. I guessed was about feeding her and immediately served her portion. Though am not sure that this behavior was referred always to food case rather than I later translated as she wished having some… chit-chat gossip.
One day, when she grew up enough to have her love affairs we noticed that she was pregnant. We stoically accept the fact and doubled her portion of food, without falling to our perception, who the happy prince of her heart might be. Of course, there were some male drifters in our yard but never one specific having shown his intentions.
Zouzou discreetly lived all her life absolutely kissing the philosophy I preserve for life and leaving me astonished in her low profile with intense tones in my own life. The day she gave birth to five wonderful kittens was absent all day long. We understood that when came back later that night asking for food and some kind of psychological support. That day she accepted my mother’s hand petting her on her back in a needing but hesitating mood. Though seemed exhausted, her face had a different, sweet look and a great glow shined in her eyes. Don’t miss this point, she had been a young mother now and had all the excuses to glow like this, right?
We’d never found entirely where she had hidden kittens, the right place of birth giving. As a matter of fact every time after she had eaten she left discretely the place certainly to lactate her newborn kittens, we reckon. One day, she knew the why; she took me to the place and showed me with pride her kittens. The place was a safe shelter under a branch of thick woods out in the fields. There were five awesome few-weeks-born kittens. The next days, when I wanted to show the kittens to my friend, the place of birth was empty. She had changed the place, who knows when. One Sunday and wishing to learn the new place my visitor cousin tried to follow her after I’d fed her. She never reached this place as she probably noticed him and walked in cycles for hours.
When kittens grew up enough, she decided the when, where and who and day by day, one by one the-three-month kittens arrived to my place but… not all of them. She choose to present us just the two of her spouse and some days later a third one came from nowhere to my yard. We’d never seen the other two. She had kept along her a male and a female, and they were undoubtedly very clever and awesome cats. The third one, which came later to me and stayed few weeks, she drove it away when aggressively one noon she attack it the time I fed them. She probably protected my parcel, I thought, as she knew I couldn’t afford breeding all of them without sacrificing a part of her own portion. I’m sure wasn’t this reason. The case was she had rejected the three of her kids and kept the two beloved ones.
One remarkable fact is that from the very first time, when Zouzou and I had met together under that olive tree, since as aged passed away her face reflected an appreciation, an odor of gratefulness to me. Receiving that great sense I felt obliged to her, too. And also, from the time I saved her from Rexakis she stayed a free, wild, happy and loyal cat. As for my Labrador, Rexakis, that’s another story. He was also great, unique dog with his own personal characteristics. He hunted all the other cats visiting my property except Zouzou. After all we were afraid for the safety of the chickens, pheasants, turkeys, quails and the other birds periodically were breaded up in my place. Anyway, Zouzou, when first as kitten, I bended over and took her to my palms, Rexakis jumping around us smelt her several times, in an expeditor’s way. Since then, they lived as very close friends. He accepted her as equal or better… as superior because I was usually fed first Zouzou and Rexakis next, who indeed patiently waited his turn with no mourning and complaints. Many times, I watched them playing together by sharing a cloth, a ball or any other item of their interest had accidently was found in the yard. These playing games stopped when Zouzou became a mother, not before the period was pregnant. At first, Rexakis tried to smell all around Zouzou, who, in a rather hostile mood rejected him showing her up like nail fur and by moving her hand angrily towards him. Immediately, he seemed had received her message and since he confronted Zouzou from a safe distance. A peculiar looking like observation or… an admiration on his eyes was figured when looked at her. That made me all the times watching it wondered if they are understood one each other in a clear and absolute way. Rexakis found that suddenly, Zouzou had turned to an integral stranger and the strange odor of hers had confused him as had changed also. Nevertheless, after few months had passed Rexakis returned to his previous habits, teasing and playing with her and she… she sometimes accepted and others rejected him depending on her mood, and of course showing her superiority, her dominance to the place they lived and shared habits. Zouzou was the one and only cat I’ve ever had in my life that marked me with a very positive, meaningful way.
To Zouzou and animal friends