Welcome to our new monthly feature, “A day in the life of…” which will share the tale (or should that be tail…) of some of Syros Cats best-loved residents. This month, we’re hearing from Junior who learnt quickly that not all humans are friendly…
I was born just behind the beach at Kini in Springtime, when taverns were opening, visitors were arriving and there was lots for me and my mum to eat. I learnt to make friends with tourists and copied my mum, rubbing around their feet and trying to look cute! Usually, it worked and they gave me tasty treats, but sometimes, in spite of my efforts, I went to sleep hungry.
I learnt a few human words, so I could tell who was cat friendly – and who wasn’t. Some visitors were horrible and I had to dodge their kicks, some let their children pull my tail, or stamp on it. That really hurt.
My mum looked after me and my brother when we were small, but one day, she told us we were old enough to take care of ourselves. Someone came one day and took my brother away. I was cold, lonely and miserable, especially at night.
Cats on the beach talked about ‘forever homes’ but I didn’t know what that was. I’d heard that there were places, not too far away, that were warm and safe, where humans were kind, and you didn’t have to fight for food. But stories from other cats about travelling in a crate to a special animal doctor, sounded scary. And I was afraid to leave the place I knew.
One day I plucked up the courage to look for a better place to live…
I was about three months old, with a fine set of white whiskers and sturdy white paws. I kept my black coat clean and shiny and my teeth were gleaming. I started to walk inland from the beach. It was scary leaving the place I knew, but I was ready for an adventure!
The journey took a few days and I was very tired. Eventually I thought I had arrived at a good place. Lots of cats were resting in a shady field. They were well-fed and content. I could see small comfy houses, trees to climb and bowls of food and fresh water. With so many unknown cats around, I was scared to go in and waited under a rubbish bin across the road, trying to decide what to do next. I was hungry and thirsty.
Suddenly, a human whisked me up into her arms – I was too surprised to protest or use my claws! ‘You can’t stay here by the road’, she said, ‘the traffic is dangerous for a small cat, let’s get you some food.’ She carried me down a windy path with a few steps and handed me to another human who was sat on a shady terrace.
‘I found a kitten hiding under the bin, will you take him? He’s young and scared.’
She held out her arms – I snuggled into a cosy place under her chin. It felt warm and safe.
‘Hi Junior,’ she said, ‘You’re the youngest cat here and the only tuxedo.’ It wasn’t meant to be a name, but somehow it stuck. And I liked the sound of it. So Junior I became, even though lots of more junior cats arrived after me.
We’ve been together a long time now, but on that day a long time ago now, I knew I had found a human that I could have a special relationship with. I don’t have a big purr, like some other cats, who sometimes sound like engines, but I tried really hard to purr to show my appreciation and persuade my new friend to be my human mom. She cuddled and stroked me, talking softly. I didn’t understand everything, but at that moment I understood that I had found my ‘forever home’.
A huge thank you to the incredible team at Syros Cats for rescuing Junior and for letting us share his success story with the world.
Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to hear next month’s instalment of ‘A day in the life of…’ and all the latest news and stories from Animal Action Greece.