Rather than start at the beginning with number 1, I thought I would join in with the challenges according to the date. So the post topic for today is ‘Something I Miss’.
In April 2014, while we were sailing in the Gulf of Evia, we rescued a tiny kitten. She was stuck in the engine of a truck, which was parked in a back street in the harbour town of Limni, where we had moored our yacht, Fandancer. We called her Artemis. You can read about her on my page.
Artemis lived with us on our yacht Fandancer for over 18 months. She flew back to England with us twice, and took all the travel in her stride. Almost exactly a year ago, we were back in the UK for the winter, and staying in a rented property. Unfortunately the property owner decided that she didn’t want a cat in her property, so we had to find a temporary home for Artemis. After a false start with someone who assured us she was experienced with homing cats, we had to remove her after two weeks as Artemis wasn’t getting on with their own cat. So we had to find a new foster home for her. Artemis ended up going to Northern Ireland, to stay with Tim’s brother and wife, who had worked for the Cats’ Protection League, and at one point she was looking after 20 cats in her home. They lived in isolation in some beautiful countryside, surrounded by trees, a cats’ paradise. We stayed for a couple of days to make sure she was settled. and that was the last time I saw her.
Artemis stayed there for over five months. We then had to make a decision about whether to take her back to Greece with us in the Spring. She seems to love living on the boat with us, she is not fazed by being in a new harbour every few days, and can fend for herself if she meets local cats. She is really good company, and has a great cat personality,
However, the travelling arrangements need careful planning, and it is expensive to travel back to the UK with an animal. Although you can travel with a cat anywhere in Europe by taking them in a carrier as hand luggage for only thirty euro, you cannot fly them into the UK as hand luggage. The easiest way is to cross the Channel by car with the cat in a carrier, but that wasn’t possible for us. So we had to take a ferry as foot passengers, and there are only two ferry routes which allow you to do this with an animal. One year we flew with Artemis from Greece to Paris, via Vienna, then we had to hire a car to drive from Paris to Dieppe, then a ferry to Newhaven then a train to Portsmouth. The next year we flew from Greece to Amsterdam with Artemis, then had to take two trains to the Hook of Holland, then a ferry to Harwich, then hire a car to get back to Hampshire. With overnight stops, you can see that it proved to be expensive!
Sadly, we decided not to take Artemis back to Greece with us last Spring. We hoped that Tim’s relatives in NI would keep her permanently, but they seemed to find looking after Artemis more stressful than they had anticipated, especially with their own animals to consider. So after Tim collected her from Northern Ireland, he drove her all the way to Essex. His daughter and partner have just bought a new house, and as they had met Artemis previously on their various visits to us on the boat, they offered to look after her. So she has a new permanent, forever home, they really love having her. It would be unfair to unsettle her again, so she will remain in Essex.
I miss her very much. She is a lovely cat, very intelligent, and great company. Some people have said that’s it’s unfair to Artemis to have given her away like we did. But at least we rescued her from a life on the street, having to scavenge for her food. I’ve got a little tear in my eye now, just thinking about her, but I know she is happy.