Artemis is a cat, a Greek cat, in fact she also goes by the name of The Luckiest Cat In Greece. We will never know where or when she was born or how many brothers and sisters she had. All we know is that she is a very vocal feline, who was making a mega-decibel yowling noise when we found her wedged up under the engine of a parked truck in the town of Limni on the island of Evia. After two hours of this ear-splitting sound and establishing that no other human or animal was likely to come to her aid, we tried to tempt her out with encouraging pus-puss-puss noises and a tin of tuna. Eventually we had to resort to the less-dignified approach of lying under the truck and grabbing this tiny scrap of oil-covered kitten and she was quickly zipped into a soft cool bag which had been temporarily assigned the job of a cat basket. Making a noise like a wild banshee and flinging herself about like a Chinese firecracker inside the bag, we carried her half a mile back to our yacht Fandancer, moored in Limni harbour.
We washed the kitten in the galley sink, fed her some of our left-over chicken and locked her in the shower room for the night with a toy monkey and an alarm clock (kittens find the ticking a comfort). The next morning she seemed to have recovered from her earlier trauma and quickly began the process of training us in becoming the guardians of a goddess, so we named her Artemis. We believed her to be about eight weeks old when we found her. Artemis took everything in her stride, and very quickly adapted to living on a boat. We set off on the next part of our voyage south, and despite initially being startled by the engine noise, she soon settled down and explored the boat. We kept her in the cockpit when the boat was moving, but when we are berthed she loves to hide under the dinghy on the foredeck or sunbathe by the mizzen mast.
If you adopt an abandoned kitten it is important to take responsibility for their health. A visit to the vets was top of our agenda and Artemis found it very undignified when she was de-wormed, de-fleaed and earmites banished. She has had a series of vaccinations for the major cat illnesses and we have had her micro-chipped. We have also had her spayed. According to her male servant, she is now the most valuable cat in Greece!
Tune in tomorrow for part 2 …….