One of the first things we noticed on the island of Crete was the abundance of stay cats and dogs. Cats especially. Within 5 minutes of us arriving in Chania, we somehow picked up a stray dog who decided to follow us around. I don’t know why it chose us, but it was a bit unnerving. Everywhere we went, it followed us. Eventually we managed to shake him off and he started following another couple around.
Because of the large amounts of cats and the way the Cretans drive on the island, seeing dead cats along the side of the road was a common site. It eventually turned into a game for us any time we drove. Count the number of dead cats! I think on one journey we counted upwards of 10 dead cats, a couple (alive) goats, and a dead what looked like a badger (??). I have never seen so much road kill in my life.
In the cities you could barely escape them. Especially at restaurants. The cats would come right up to you and beg for food right next to your table. The first time this happened, it was a bit unnerving, but I soon got use to it and just ignored them all. Other tables would feed them, but I feel like it just encourages them to beg for food. Some restaurants would chase them away, but others wouldn’t care at all.
On our last night in Greece, we went for a seafood dinner. The restaurant we were at had two cats chasing each other and having an all out cat fight. There was also a kitten on the premise that was crying for help. One of the restaurant workers retrieved the kitten, and my guess is that the mother didn’t know where her child was and got angry at the other cat and started chasing it around the restaurant, up and down vines and across the roofs of nearby buildings. Made for a very entertaining dinner.
What are your experiences with stray animals? Do you feed them?