Have a look at the photo. This cat blessed me with its presence on the roof of our house – spiti mas – and I’ve also seen it walking along the road, and even in our garden in front of the house.
I have no clue how it managed to get on to the roof of the house, but when I went up there, this cat, which obviously has a lot of life history, stared at me, without fear, and relaxed in the shade of the hot Athens, Greece sun.
If you come to Greece, you will see a lot of cats and dogs that appear to be strays. They don’t seem to have an owner. Some people from North American and the UK come Greece, and are horrified by the cats and dogs that they see, and that they see, and assume they abandoned pets.
What they also fail to realize is that when they are in Greece, they are also among some of the oldest of all civilizations; the cats they see are actually descendants of the ancient Antiseptic and Aegean cats that have walked these lands for thousands of years.
Cats, unlike dogs and other animals, have never been truly domesticated. They have been pets… but try to tell them to “sit,” “speak,” “heel,” or be used to work land…. I’m sure in that regard, you’ll admit cats are just not the same. You might like to cuddle a cat, or enjoy what it does… but honestly, cats are cats.
And that is exactly what cat lovers love about cats. It’s also what cat haters hate about cats.
Lets get back to the cats of Greece….
For thousands of years, the people of this area have co-existed with cats, sometime caring for them as personal pets, while also caring for them as a co-existing species, that exists. For a millenia, this climate and environment has been perfect for cats to live, sometimes friended, often fed, and actually, community owned or accepted.
While North Americans and some Northern Europeans have their own views on cats as pets, the fact is, cats have been co-existing with people of the Mediterranean since time immemorial.
In Greece, while some cats might be “owned,” they are also here, to co-exist, sometimes a nuiscance, but mostly a spirit of animal to put up with.
North Americans have a difficult idea with this – especially silly progressives. A “pet” is supposed to be a pet, right?
Well, what happens when you are faced with thousands of years of history that challenges what you believe?
Cats, in Greece, are accepted as co-existing beings. They are fed, even by people who make no claim to ownership. j