My Greek kitty crew

Monday, June 27, 2011

Noona's rescue

Last week I mentioned a new addition to the feline tribe around here - and here she is. Her name is Noona. She was in a very particular and urgent need of help. I first spotted her in a taverna 10 days ago. You might know it's a very common sight to see cats begging for food in Greek tavernas - it almost epitomizes Greek tavernas. And this one was no different. Most cats though looked well and healthy enough but this little girl sat back and was having a difficult time keeping up with the others fighting over the bits of food people threw for them. I noticed she had a very strange shape. She is little (maybe 6 months old) and looked pregnant, but in a strange way. She looked just in an appalling state. Apart from her pregnant look and being way too young for a pregnancy, she was  emtremely skinny and had a cold. To me it was clear she wouldn't make it much longer in her state. I wowed to come back to find her and to get her to the vet immediately.

I passed by three days in a row before finally spotting her again last Monday. Luckily she seemed to know she needed help -  she popped straight into the transport box! Then off to the vet.

Turned out this little girl had a condition called mammary hyperplasia. A condition where the mammary glands swells due to too much progesterone - something that tends to occur in young unspayed female cats due to pregnancy. So yes, she was indeed also pregnant, but the strange shape was from huge swollen mammary glands. Quite unreal. You can see the enormous extra added weight she was carrying around - and these images above are AFTER she aborted four 4 week old feteuses (that's almost half-way through a cat pregnancy). Before the injection to help cure this condition (which is what caused- and is meant to cause an abortion) she was swollen the whole way up her chest and she could hardly walk. It was more of a waddle. In the second image you can see that her legs had gotten quite bend to allow for all the added body mass. She was and still is unable to preen herself  - she understandably loves it when I wash her.

Well, these bottom images are from today. As you can see she is MUCH better already but will need to go back for another shot tomorrow. She might need treatment for a total of four weeks before this condition is in complete remission. Sometimes it might not completely disappear so I'm keeping fingers crossed she'll be fully cured.

She has spent most of the week resting... and just wanting cuddles and attention. Whenever I've stroked her along her spine I've literally been able to feel/sense the soreness she's been feeling. It must have been hugely arduous for her with the extreme added weight.

It's literally taken all week to get her cleaned up (her belly still needs the treatment, but that'll have to wait). The muck and dirt (even oil) from the road was so stuck to her fur. But we're getting there. Last weeks trip to the vet was very taxing for her - I hope she'll do better tomorrow. Hopefully the TLC so far will have made her stronger. When I look at the pain in her face and eyes in the first image I sometimes wonder how these cats even have the will to go on. Who cannot not want to help a cat in such a state?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The right to build a nest

If you're familiar with some of my earlier posts you'll know just how much I love bird nests and all the beauty jam-packed into it. The nest above is one I found in a forrest floor - I think it'd been abandoned, no trace of chicks or egg-shells. I had a moment where I just stood in awe and admired all the fine intricacies wowen into it. I mean... look at all those little twigs, feathers and horse hair - collected from a nearby horse field. I honestly think it gives pause for thought. Doesn't it move you to know all the effort and urge this little bird/birds must have felt.

Well, this nest is quite small (maybe built by a blue tit) - so just image how teensy this glorious little hummingbird nest is. 

And yet, it is a PERFECT little nest. A master-piece. Just look above and below at the details of this hummingbird nest sent to me by a dear friend (I'd long wondered what a real hummingbird nest looked like - my jaw dropped and I shed a tear).

Ok, now to the actual point in this post. A reader of this blog sent me an email last night with a plea for help. She lives somewhere where nets are put on buildings to prevent pigeons from nesting. As the nets doesn't work the outcome is horrific - the birds get caught behind them, gets tangled in them and  suffer a horrible slow death (read her own words here). She asks for help in the way of leaving a comment so she can put pressure upon those responsible. I know the cynical mind that thinks one person can't make a difference - but I support that one individual who stands up against such callous human behaviour. As the sovereigns of this planet I abhor what it is in humans that would cynically (for some human convenience sake) exclude and prevent any animal from having it's rightful place and it's right to live. Please support Emma's attempt at rescuing these birds from such an attrocious fate. Thank you!

P.S. Please follow the link to Emma's site via the first link by clicking the words  (above) "read her own words here". A Blogger gremlin has gotten hold of me trying to post the link at the end of my post. Hope you succeed with the link.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Twinkle, come find me...


It's been a busy week with a new addition to the growing tribe (no, I'm not looking for more, but this one was in need of urgent help for sure - more about that later). But  for now I just wanted to share a few more images from the weekend where Emma and Twinkle were so excited about having taken their friendship to a new level. Caught these two in an exhilarated round of  hide and seek. Aren't their facial expressions just priceless?!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Taming a tail - for those who have the courage to do it


In this part of the world the weekend has already drawn to a close - and what a sweet one it's been in this little kitty-kindergarten. The kittens (I swear) are growing a little every day and getting more confident and brave. Twinkle, dear little thing, has already been abandoned by kitty mom so he is now standing on his own paws - but all members in the garden have taken very well to Twinkle, so he is in good company. He has been spending a good time hissing at the other cats if they came too close - a job kitty mom otherwise did brilliantly for him. It's been a courageous step for him to get to have a physical interaction with the other cats (figuring out that they only have a friendly intent). I was therefore thrilled to see his confidence in playing with Benji's tail... just look at this sweet bravery.


And what was Benji's response? He was so brotherly, sweet and docile. He didn't twitch a muscle but allowed Twinkle to have a moment of great bravery.

Stay tuned for more tales!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

A racehorse track for fairies


Ok, so I honestly don't know what I was thinking when I promised I'll capture some images of the kittens playing together! When I try to capture these two firecrackers together all I get is action tripes or puffs of air as in cartoons. It sounds like a racehorse track for fairies when they play... not very loud but FULL of ACTION!!

Twinkle (above) was born in the wild (and only survivor of a whole litter) so he is "street-smart" in the garden. He knows his way around each bush and bramble.

Emma on the other hand was rescued from drowning in a huge water tank just about a month ago - so she lives indoor and is only gradually getting introduced to the garden.Twinkle is very willing to show her how the tracks around the plants work. Lovely whiffs of mint and lavender rise as they beat around the bushes.

We are fortunate to have a walled garden which acts as a brilliant playpen for the meeting of these little destinies (and all the other characters too). 

I know there's nothing novel about the cuteness of a couple of kittens playing but it's truly special to witness how a couple of complete strangers approach each other and how they have now gradually introduced themselves to each other. To begin with they only lightly touched each other and agreed that no teeth or claws would be involved. They did not play wrestle like siblings normally would. Too shy for that - not really knowing who the other one was.

But today - as a matter of fact - they physically wrestled with each other for the first time. Just like siblings. I take this to be a big vote of confidence in each other knowing that they have no intention of harming each other.

It's also lovely to see how giddy they make the big boys. The bigger boys are captivated watching the little ones play and they love if they can get one of the little ones to run after them. You can almost hear the exhillarated little shreaks of joy. 

 Their common well-being is such a never ending source of joy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Benji's friends


Maybe you remember this ginger boy... Benji, who we rescued (he was in a pitiful state) from a miserable dumpster life on the 1st of March this year. In spite of a somewhat compromised immune system (he is currently on his 5th antibiotic treatment since he was rescued!) he is thriving and in the company of good friends.

It's difficult to tell what happened in the first few months of his life but his is both extremely hyper and extremely gentle. He will wear out all the other cats in turn (Tiny & Ninja fled him in the beginning - they got so fed up with the incessant need to play-wrestle) until Mr. Moggles took over - a former alpha male never resisting a good "fight." Benji and Mr. Moggles hang out all day - in fact they adore each others company.  It's sounds like they've having a major fight but minuttes later you will, literally speaking, find them in each  others arms  lovingly and endearingly washing each other. So when Benji is all wrestled out and mellow he will happily go and chill out with Tiny and Ninja. Then he might even give them the treat of a loving wash.

I did indeed promise to get back with some images of the kittens Twinkle and Emma playing together. Unfortunately Emma's had a very bad flu - I suspect she caught the bug from Benji. She for some inexplicable reason also adores play-wrestling with him - I think she is not aware of her own size (t-i-n-y!! shhh...) - so she is now recovering (much better already). Benji is very gentle with her - no claws - but he on the other hand still believes he is a kitten and will sit full weight on top of her until she squeeks for mercy. Yes, it's a kindergarten (a gorgeous one!) and it does need supervision from time to time! Anyhow... so I promise to come back to the kittens in the next post.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The art of sublimation

So here I go passing on the award and I choose to pass it on to just one girl whose blog and life inspires me hugely. My smittenness started last year where I happened upon her wonderful photographic images and my heart just plain melted when I saw her baby lamb photography. I can't get enough of them.


Having followed her blog ever since I've found such a kind, searching, inspiring, generous, corageous and encouraging open heart. To me she is a bold and full-blooded explorer of what I would call the art of sublimation (the origin of the word sublimate is 'raise to a higher status). She describes herself as a girl smitten with God and as a beholder of her photography, playful art and word buzzing I'm always left with the feeling of happy exploration, light, beauty, thoughtfulness, grace and intactness. Visiting her blog I often leave with the thought; "God must be well pleased with this girl!"

Pop over to her lovely blog or darling shop - if you love animals her photography will lift your heart. Promise!

Images © by Junelle Jacobsen/

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Young cat girl


Some days ago I received a blog award from Corner of  Cat's Mind - thank you sweet Catherine! It’s a heart-warming thought that someone finds your blog read-worthy enough to spread the word. I believe the award came with the prerequisite to tell five things about myself – and to pass on the award.

I’ve wondered; what do I tell? Well, instead of telling five things about myself I’ve chosen to go freestyle and do a special little “celebration” as the award also coincided with hitting the 100 followers mark on the same day. So I thought to reveal a little more of myself - and here it is… a serendipitous snapshot from my childhood (first photo of myself ever included in a post!).

When I was about 9 or 10 years old my mother came home from a night shift one early and very cold winters morning. She used to come and wake me up for school  - and it was never an easy task getting me out of bed, particularly in the dark and cold of winter! But this morning she had an adorable trick up her sleeve – or under her coat to be more specific. She sat down at my bedside and said; “Look what I’ve got under my coat!”  A starved and frightened black and white kitten peeked out from underneath her coat – she’d rescued it from a deep ditch from which it had been unable to get itself up. It was   L O V E   at first sight… and I guess you could say today – a whole lot more than that!! I loved her to absolute bits and after her much to short life (too many kittens and too much ignorance in the 70's) I threw my love on a German shepard - the next discarded pet (too many imperfections for its first owner apparently!) to enter our family. She was a perfect goof-ball - I could dress her with my track suit and socks (I'll spare you the photo, LOL) and she just gobbled up all the attention. 

I have very fond memories of animals from my childhood but cats for some reason has left a very indellible mark inside (maybe a happy print from that cold winters morning?). 

As for passing on the award I'll be cheeky and leave that for the next post (including photo). 

So there you have it... the humble beginnings of young cat girl.