Andros trip in April 2022 – a report from Marie’s mother
On April 11th, we -Marie’s parents- set off from Berlin for Andros. We had already visited this beautiful Aegean island several times with Marie and had become friends with A., S., and A. (2).
Before heading to the island, we wanted to spend a day in Athens. We intended to hike to the Acropolis through the picturesque old town.
But arriving at night on the 11th, I realized my wallet was missing. Presumably it had been stolen in the crowded metro from the airport to Syntagma Square.
So the next day we first had to find our way to the tourists’ police station and the German embassy before we made it to the Acropolis in the evening. At this point a big thank you to our friend A. (2) in Athens, who immediately offered her help and made the necessary telephone calls for us in Greek.
On April 13th, we finally arrived at our vacation home on Andros late in the evening.
A meeting with A. and S. was planned for the next afternoon on April 14th. In the morning, however, we first went to the two feeding sites 1 and 3 in the village, which can be easily reached on foot. The cats were in much better condition than before, had enough dry food and drinking water, were not very hungry, but still interested in wet food.
We then drove to feeding site 2. On the way there we stopped by I.’s small country store, where we stocked up on more wet food for the coming days and talked to I. about the food deliveries. She was very satisfied with the uncomplicated order and payment process. A big thank you to the persons responsible in Germany, but also to I. for the fast delivery!
At feeding site 2 only one well-fed tame cat showed up. Where were the others? There should have been ten. An explanation was later provided by S. at our meeting in the afternoon: After S. has distributed food there early in the morning, some cats often follow him to his house, which is not far away. Maybe they pick up one or the other meal from S., because there is always plenty of food accessible to all? The following day, a second cat joined us at feeding site 2.
A visit to the island veterinarian was scheduled for Friday, April 15th, to get the two strays -Dimitri and Sokrates- examined who we intended to take to Berlin. She told us that she and two colleagues from Athens would neuter cats free of charge that weekend. An English woman, who has lived on the island for decades and takes care of many animals, sponsored this great opportunity.
There might be another one in late summer.
In the remaining days, we had plenty of time for the three feeding sites, which we visited in the morning and in the afternoon. We were able to observe and were happy about how trustingly some of the cats approached us.
On Sunday we said our goodbyes to A. and S. in the hope of seeing them again soon. We cannot appreciate enough their warmth and hospitality and last but not least their admirable, long-standing work for the strays.
Before we took the ferry to Athens with Dimitri and Sokrates on April 18th, we managed to visit H. and I. We had only heard about their work so far. Unfortunately, there was only time for a short visit but their hospitality made us feel very warmly welcome. Their care for the cats is impressive as well.
On April 19th, we arrived in Berlin with Sokrates and Dimitri in tow, and were welcomed by Jörg at the airport. He took the two cats immediately to their foster home where they settled in quickly.
Unfortunately, as we know now, Dimitri had only little time left. But at least he was comfortable and cared for as well as possible and did not have to suffer lonely and withdrawn somewhere on Andros before crossing the rainbow bridge.
For us it was a great joy to see A. and S., and also the vet again, to have talked to A. (2) in Athens and to have met H. and I.
Hopefully we were able to convey in our conversations how much we appreciate their work for the stray cats.
Our Greek friends value the support of „Cats at Andros“ likewise.