Before we arrived at our residence provided by ACT, there were already some residents, who I’ve become acquainted with.
One of these people is Gabby, who’s pretty cool. She goes to University of Tulsa and is finishing her study abroad right now, and she comes our to dinner or out at night with us sometimes.
That’s the only human I know who lives here who isn’t part of our reporting team. But the streets of Greece are filled with stray dogs and cats, and some of these cats also call 124 Alexandrias home.
This is Medley. He’s my favorite, because he’s orange. He sleeps on the tin roof next to my balcony all the time. Even though he’s kind of dirty all the time, he has super green eyes. Medley is very quiet, but he’s always running around in new places and often startling me. Also, won’t let me take a picture of him awake.
This is Mo-Mo, who I just call Mo. He likes to sleep on this little pillow in the courtyard. Mo isn’t afraid of anything, which is probably why he’s missing his right eye. But it also means he comes over and says hi when he hears me, which is adorable.
This is Cosette, who I also sometimes call Tiger. She’s a cosseting mom to her five or so kittens. I call her Tiger because we can hear her every night yowling any time another cat on the hunt for food comes anywhere near the kittens. Cosette finds food for her kittens and watching over them all day every day in the courtyard. I think Mo-mo is her friend / cat-boyfriend(?) and also helps her feed the kittens, because she doesn’t scare him off, but he still can’t go near the kittens.
At first, when I heard that there were so many stray animals, I was sad thinking about them running around looking for food and being in danger of getting sick or injured, or cold in bad weather. But I started to notice the same animals in the same city blocks as I’ve walked in our neighborhood, and I’ve seen them eating food people put out or eating leftovers out of takeout containers that people leave for them.
I’ve also been told that there are women who live in the neighborhood who take it upon themselves to feed the cats – shoutout to Pam – and that because it is so common here to see these animals, many Greeks will take care of the ones that live near them as they would a neighbor or someone in their community.