A is for Artemis – the luckiest cat in Greece……
In April 2014, we were sailing in the Gulf of Evia, Greece, and arrived at the little harbour at Limni. During a walk around the town, we heard a pitiful mewing coming from the engine of a parked truck. I knew it was a kitten, as feral cats are everywhere in Greece. We walking on, resolving not to get involved with any stray cats…..
After an afternoon siesta, I couldn’t help thinking about the kitten, so we went back to see if it was still there. Armed with a coolbag and a tin of tina, we could her the pitiful noise from several streets away. “Come and help me NOW!” the little voice was saying. “I’m stuck in this engine and need rescuing immediately!” I crouched down and saw two little eyes peering at me. She was sat on the axle, but would not let me touch her. The tin of tuna was tempting, and she jumped onto the petrol tank of the truck. Eventually, she came within reach and I managed to grab the little creature. I quickly zipped her into the coolbag and we carried her back to the boat. She was like a whirling dervish, yowling and leaping about inside the bag.
When we got back to our yacht Fandancer, I carefully took her out of the bag and wrapped her in a tea towel. The poor little black scrap looked at me with her big blue eyes. We washed her in the galley sink, and she turned grey. After the second wash, we discovered she was mostly white, with tabby patches. That evening, I put her in a box with a towel and a ticking clock (I heard this was comforting to small animals). We didn’t know whether she’d survive the night, but in the morning she was fine, she pinched some food from our meal, and from that point she never looked back….. we named her Artemis, after the Greek goddess of the hunt, and the moon.
Artemis lived happily on board Fandancer with is for two years. She visited about twenty Greek islands with us, and never got lost, even though we were in a different harbour every few days. She was even featured in a cat magazine, and had lots of followers on her own Facebook page!
Artemis liked coming ashore with us, and would even jump in the dinghy, waiting for a ride. She would follow us to a nearby taverna, sit under our table, then follow us back again later!
In the winter, when Fandancer came out of the water, we took Artemis back and forward to England with us twice, until Tim’s daughter offered to look after her for us. Artemis is now living a wonderful life in Essex. She has grown a big fur coat, and probably eats more than she should. We have visited her a couple of times, and get regular updates.
I miss Artemis 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 up 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.
I wonder if Artemis still thinks about the time she lived in Greece?