A tourist finds a kitten in the hotel trash and realizes that she needs help
In May 2017, Lydia Ellery couldn’t wait to visit the Greek island of Zakynthos, also known as Zante. She had never been to Greece before, and she intended to take advantage of the sunny Mediterranean climate while she was there to unwind and get away from the gloomy weather in her native London. Ellery intended to return home with a tan, but she actually brought back a lot more. Ellery couldn’t help but notice the animals as he observed the island’s calm coves, steep cliffsides, and lovely village taverns. The streets were filled with stray cats who gathered around her hotel to beg for crumbs of food.
According to Ellery, who spoke to The Dodo, “It was very awful – they all looked in a bad manner with wounds on their skin and coated with fleas and ticks.” It was one of those occasions where you hope you could all be saved.
Since she felt she couldn’t bear to see the kittens suffer, Ellery, a lifetime animal lover, began using her all-inclusive meal plan to feed the scrawniest of the stray cats. She felt helpless to stop the animals’ suffering as a guest, but this feeling would soon change.
One day at midday, when Ellery was giving the cats their lunch, a fellow traveler came up. She mentioned that there was a cat hidden away in the trash who might require some table scraps. Although she had been feeding the kitten, the woman was worried that it wouldn’t live very long because her vacation was coming to an end.
A cat, barely the size of her hand, emerged from the hotel’s waste pile as Ellery walked toward the front of the building, where visitors didn’t often go. It’s possible that she was just a few weeks old. Ellery observed that she was living in an obviously filthy, dangerous, and highly unclean place where hotel trash bags were piled up. If every trash bag that held her had been picked up by the garbage van, she would have been crushed.
Ellery started returning to the trash heap twice daily, in the morning and the evening, and over the course of a week, she became aware that the flea-infested kitten was always by herself. She would consume it like it was the first time she had ever seen food, according to Ellery, who would smuggle fish out of the hotel to feed her. We developed into proper little mates because every time I came out, she would run to my feet and sit beside me.
In an effort to avoid becoming overly attached, she started calling the frail kitten Geoffrey. As the day of her departure for the UK approached, Ellery began to worry for the welfare of her young friend. Despite her best efforts, she struggled to leave Geoffrey behind because she had grown attached to him.
Because there are fewer tourists to give them with food in the winter, a considerable percentage of stray animals die in agony, Ellery had read. I couldn’t handle the idea of anything happening to her after developing such a strong bond with her. When Ellery realized the kitten was a girl, she decided to rename it Aggie after one of her favorite authors, Agatha Christie.
Ellery knew she had to make sure Aggie was secure before getting on a plane, but it was harder than she had expected. Aggie couldn’t go because every rescue organization on Zante was already overflowing with strays in need, according to Ellery. A weird organization, Zante Strays, which primarily deals with dogs, arrived just as time was about to run out.
On my last day there, a lovely woman arrived and scooped her up from the dumpsters and placed her in a foster home, Ellery recalled. There, she had a cozy bed of her own, a healthy diet, and flea and worm treatments.
The little cat was now secure, but Ellery couldn’t help but worry about her frequently. She was sure that despite their distance in location, she and Aggie were destined to be. Ellery decided to take her in as her own. After obtaining a pet passport, receiving several injections, and travelling by boat for two days, Aggie eventually crossed the border into a new country.
Credit: Lydia Ellery
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