Garfield he is not. But he is a little celebrity in his territory I can tell you.The kids play with him, ladies ooh and ahh at him, even stern
strong men are frequently reduced to “puss puss puss” as he makes his rounds and crosses their paths. He is an affectionate, inquisitive,
trusting and fun-loving character when it comes to two legged creatures.
Four footed beasts had better watch their manners.
Larger, rougher cats quail at the sniff of him and dogs, dumb mutts, find other things to interest them should he deign to glance in their direction.
You don’t argue with Ivan.
That’s not actually his name. He was so christened, without baptism I might add, by my wife who didn’t like his original moniker:
Mosche Dayan, as you may or may not know, was an Iraeli war hero who looked rakish and piratical due to the black eye patch he wore over the eye he lost in a battle. So ‘Ivan’ has only one eye.
Why does he only have one eye? We don’t know. It is posible that as a tiny puss of a couple of months old, he too lost an eye in the service of his country. I don’t think the Greeks were actively at war with the Turks or anyone else at that time, circa April 2007, but maybe there was a private cat agenda on the island where he was born, who can say?
But he was born on a Greek island, that much is certain. His lineage is unknown, but it is a fair guess that his mum and dad had black and white fur between them, and were indifferent, careless or just downright callous parents. Dayan was found abandoned as a little kitty by a woman who is an active member of the Greek Animal Welfare Society, the Pan-Hellenic membership of which speaks volumes about the Greek attitude to animals.
Not many and not much.
I once asked a very nice man who worked at the bank I use (he has gone somewhere else now. For personal reasons, I happen to know.
Not due to the dire state of my account or anything to do with animals) if I could put up a poster in the window of the bank advertising the Animal Welfare Society?
Of course. The boss won’t object I’m sure. …..
“Do you like animals yourself Vangelis?”
“Like?” He looked a bit perplexed, but as we were speaking English, and his English was very good, there can have been no misunderstanding. “Like?”…….
“Well, how would you describe your attitude towards animals?”
Voila! Etsi! There it is in one word. The average Greek attitude to animals. He qualified this by saying that he would never deliberately harm or hurt an animal but, yes,
indifference would be the right word.
Different folks, different strokes. And no judgement implied.This Greek attitude is based on the teachings of the Orthodox religion. ‘The beasts of the field are for our use’ sort of philosophy. If I have got it right, then animals have no soul for the faithful. No soul: presumably then; no feelings? It’s an heirachical sort of thing with humans on top and the beasts? Well…….
Most Greeks are well informed about a surprisingly large number of things that puts the average knowledge of ’ things foreign’ to shame. In many discussions over the years it has been asked with some vehemence, that how come if we (Europeans, Americans etc) love animals so much, the streets are full of strays and the homes full of abandoned pets?!!!
Anyway, I digress.There was a poster in the chemists window: Good home wanted for me. I have all my jabs, eat my dry food, use my litter box and promise to love you forever. And a super- heart-melting- photo of this tiny little black and white scrap looking up at the camera with his one eye.
Sold to the man! He comes home with me. Asked wife. Okay….to join the other cat, budgies, rabbits, fish…….
His temporary owner was a Jewish lady, name of Ronit, and hence the epithet ‘Dayan’ She shed tears when I came to take him.
She lent me a cage to fly him back in, and even paid for an hotel room in Athens so that we didn’t have to spend most of the day between ferry and flight connections hanging around in the heat and bustle of the summer metropolis. That is what I call care and forethought….and yes, love.
My cat is loved and he gives back what he gets….in spades.
The love you take is equal to the love you make.
I have a way to go on the human love spectrum.
the love you take is equal to the love….