This is Maggie and she lives in a southern suburb of Athens, Greece. She is one of the 2-3 million stray cats in Greece, but she is a bit different than most of them.
Maggie is spayed and has been living in this neighborhood for years. She hangs out at the local cafe sometimes, sleeping next to the stove on her favorite chair. Everyone knows her and everyone loves her – well, not everyone I suppose, it’s impossible for everyone to love strays.
She is a very human centered cat, always expecting a cuddle, whether you pass by her at the cafeteria or the street. That day I was on my way to the dog park with three of my dogs, when we bumped into Maggie. She immediately joined the group and followed us all the way to the dog park, where she felt right at home. Basically she did what the dogs did.
Go around, sniff a bit, then come back to us for cuddle, as we were sitting on the bench, use the “toilet” and sunbathe while the dogs were watching confused (and us in love with her). Apparently, Maggie has a good life. But if you know the slightest thing about animal welfare in Greece, you feel like all strays are living on borrowed time.
Especially friendly dogs and cats are in constant risk on bumping into the wrong person, while no one else is there to help them. The problem is that those friendly strays have a whole neighborhood supporting their stray life. I am not saying that this is the case for Maggie, but it has happened too many time before: the neighbors blaming us of “kidnapping” the stray and depriving them of their “oh so great” stray life of sleeping on the street and feeding of…whatever. Meh.