Today’s guest post comes from Caitlin:
The Aegean Sea is a place of lost cities of mythic proportions and a playground of the world’s foremost adventure seekers. Thankfully, though, it is also home to the unforgettable cat lady of Mykonos.
I visited pristine beaches and explored ancient ruins. I hiked active volcanoes and raced rental quads. I sailed sapphire seas and smashed porcelain plates. Despite all these amazing memories, the most cherished day was spent with an elderly Greek woman doing what she does every day, feeding cats.
A few days into my stay on Mykonos I found myself wandering the maze of streets that were finally familiar. I strolled along the shore, waves crashing and wind howling, towards the iconic windmills. Up on the hill where the windmills proudly stood, an elderly lady sat holding her hat with one hand while cats ate at her feet. She called out to me to adopt a cat. I wanted to, having already fallen in love with one in particular.
I sat down beside her and instantly a handsome tabby lay on my lap. I stroked the purring cat as we chatted. After the cats finished eating, she asked if I would join her and I couldn’t resist. This tiny woman picked up her tattered bags full of cat food and bottles of water. We wandered through the streets lined with white and blue buildings with cascading bougainvillea vines. She called to the cats in Greek as we made our way through town as if she were the Pied Piper. Sure enough, cats came running from all corners to follow her.
After putting out food and water, we stopped for coffee in a quaint café run by an Italian family. She spoke about her life; she was an actress and never married. She had devoted 30 years to feeding strays, spending over half her pension on cat food. Her days are spent feeding cats all over the city. She was the ultimate crazy cat lady and certainly looked the part. She had a large white hat to keep the sun off her face. She wore an oversized knitted sweater and an azure scarf with faded jeans and red canvas shoes. She carried around ragged bags that looked like they weighed more than she does.
Six stops and dozens of starving felines later we made it to my favourite spot. The cats gathered outside a timeworn church with a scarlet door and blue shutters. We put down food and sat silently on a bench, watched the sun start to set against brightly coloured fishing boats. Only sounds of cats chewing and waves crashing filled the air, a perfect setting to reflect on my spontaneous day with the cat lady of Mykonos.
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