Thursday, April 8, 2010

Strays adopting strays

I seem to have acquired a cat here in Naxos. I'm pretty sure I didn't adopt him, but he seems to have adopted me. He's relatively plump for a stray - which makes me question his fidelty (like most of the males in my life) and seems to be flea and mite free. He has tabby markings, angora like fur, and yowls with that unique Siamese type yowl - looks to me like a cross between a calico and a ..... well, a bison.

Like any good mannered Greek he is sensible enough to not show up too early in the morning. Rather, he comes to my terrace like clockwork in the late afternoon. Ouzo time.

I sit on my terrace every afternoon around 5-ish, with an icy ouzo at hand reading the day's newspapers while I watch the sun set He appears, yowls loudly until I give him a saucer of my fresh coffee cream and then we both sit in quiet reverence while the sun sinks into the sea from a sky painted in pinks and purples. I sense he is checking in on me each day to make sure I'm OK. A stray looking out for another stray.

I am a dog person. I speak dog. Fluently. I know not of cats. Never had one. I am not a cat person. Oh, I like them well enough, but I have dreadful allergies, cats being among the worst. Getting up close and personal with a cat can land me in hospital on a respirator. So, while appreciative of their charm, I am wary. Cats know this, of course, and tend to want to cuddle and nuzzle me. This one - who I have named Diogenes, is shameless. He weaves in and around my legs, nuzzles me and yowls until I have to scratch his head, whereupon he rolls on his back and shows me his tummy - wanton harlot (him not me)! I scratch, I pet, I nuzzle - then race inside for a full surgical scrub and a handful of allergy meds.

Once the sun sets and the purples and pinks have melted into the stunning royal navy blue of a Greek evening, he gives me a wise look, possibly a kitty wink, and tail held high - stalks off to his next rendezvous.

But he'll be back. Tomorrow, at ouzo time.

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