Category Archives: Animals

Lucy.

It’s an achievement in itself for a cat to reach the grand old age of 19, but even so, I was more than a little heartbroken when I heard the news. She became something of a family heirloom and we were even beginning to believe that she was going to live forever. Although I’ve lost my fair share of pets in recent years, I have to say, the news about Lucy is probably going to take the longest to get used to.

 

All cats weird and wonderful

You wouldn’t expect Cyprus to be an island of cat lovers, considering the overwhelming number of strays around here, but you’d be surprised at how many people in Cyprus are actually very passionate about this famous feline.

This year the Cyprus cat show celebrated all cats weird and wonderful. From the strangely sweet hairless Sphynx (looks a bit like a naked baby) made famous by Mr Bigglesworth in the film Austin Powers; to the distinctively adorable, velvet-to-the-touch British cat, with its thick, luxurious coat and giant eyes. It was great to see people from all walks of life pampering their pets and hoping to win their cat a rosette or award.

The judges took their work very seriously and assessed the cats based on a number of criteria. Most of the cats were extremely patient, calmly waiting their turn to be judged (although the odd few extracted their claws and teeth during their assessment). I’m not sure how our cat Lucy would have responded to such an analysis, but I am pretty sure that, had we entered her, she would have been in with a good chance of winning an award or two 🙂

A return to the blogging world

I’m BACKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!

Following my withdrawn departure from the blogging world, I have decided to make a comeback to keep people posted about a few goings on out here in Cyprus, every now and then.

Although they might not be as regular as they were, I will still be dutifully keeping my fellow readers posted about life out here in Cyprus – as it is only right and fair. To start the month off, here is a small collection of images that I have compiled over the past few months. There is plenty happening out here in Cyprus at the moment, and, with a sharp eye and a little creativity, it is easy to while away your time doing something that you love.

Village life

Grazing goats

Various findings from the village

Traditional Cypriot wedding

Cats chilling out

Bright skies and desolate lands

Waterfalls in the mountains

Here’s to a good month ahead. Happy May!

Survival of the Fittest

 

Baby Mumble

The bunnies have made it!

Despite what people said, all four of them have survived and are ready to depart the confines of their current home and flee the nest in their new homes…

Yes, I am more than a little heartbroken. One look at them will melt your heart and I can safely confirm that I have never seen anything more cute and innocent than these little furry bunnies. But we cannot keep them and I am grateful that we have found suitable homes for these little balls of fluff.

Rabbits are well known for being sociable animals, and therefore we encouraged the new owners to take them in pairs (which thankfully they did). Muffin seems to be adapting to their absence well, although I’m sure she is not only confused but feeling inconsolable as she comes to terms with her baby’s absence.

Having said that, from what we see, she appears to be pregnant again… and if this is the case, then we will have to brace ourselves for another round of furry little numbers in the near future. At that point, Easter will be over so the rabbit’s future could be in jeopardy (not that I would ever dare cook them). Rabbit and hare is such a popular dish out here, so I will have to keep an eye out for any prying eyes (human or otherwise), to ensure my little sweethearts remain alive, kicking, and well.

Mother and babies

Muffin with baby Gloria

A protective mother

Maria’s Animal Sanctuary

My lifelong dream has always been to open up my own animal sanctuary or animal-friendly zoo, and doing so here in Cyprus would be the perfect opportunity to promote awareness of animals and teach people a thing or two about compassion towards these innocent creatures. That way, I would also avoiding the persistent confines of the office, whilst doing something rewarding and meaningful with my day-to-day life.

Naturally, the foundations of this dream zoo would include the following animals:

Muffin and Fluffy, with their 2-storey mansion on wheels:

The four new additions to our family, Carlos, Mumble, Gloria and Betty, who, at just 2 weeks old, seem to have been successfully brought into the world by their mother, Muffin (fingers crossed still!):

Lucy Junior, also known as Mango, who has just been neutered to stop her from falling pregnant and might have to wear one of those cones on her head as she seems to be messing around with the stitches at the moment…

Then of course there’s the animals that have come and gone throughout the past year, who undoubtedly have already been mentioned in my blog, and would no doubt be a part of this zoo, including Carlos, Betty and the bunnies that didn’t make it last time (rest assured they are hopping around in rabbit heaven with Popcorn, Jerry and Rupert)!

Ultimately, this dream zoo won’t be opening for a while, unless I miraculously win the lottery or suddenly have a dramatic change of career. Until then, I can only hope that some worldly saint  decides to fix the state of affairs that are currently unfolding throughout Cyprus (and hire me as their assistant), to help all the stray cats, dogs and other animals out there, who need our love and support.

Until next time, anmials lovers and haters!

Beautiful Betty

As I am sure has been made pretty clear by now, I am hugely compassionate towards animals and would give almost anything to ensure that all the animals of the world are in good care (please note that currently, this doesn’t mean that I am willing to adopt any more animals). That being said, when we first bought Betty, I never imagined in a million years that she would bring us the joy and happiness that she did, in the short space of time that she was with us.

We bought Betty early last year, in a bid to rescue yet another poorly-treated bunny from the rough hands of a Cypriot owner. As a baby, Betty was adorable, gentle and timid. She would relax in front of the TV and loved plenty of attention, but before long, Betty became a bit wild and difficult to physically handle.

Thankfully, once we’d moved into our own place with plenty of outdoor space, we were able to leave Betty to roam freely around the garden area, eating the leaves of our plants and occasionally hopping to the patio doors to check up on us. Betty was wild and independent, but she was also the sort to enjoy some attention, and she absolutely loved very bizarre foods such as chicken, chocolate and sweets.

Upon a visit from my granddad (an expert in the likes of rabbits, hares and other wild animals), we were dutifully informed that Betty was in fact a boy. This wasn’t news that I took to with pleasure and despite the fact that Betty turned out to be a boy, we still kept his original name during the short time that he was with us.

As I already mentioned, Betty was fiercely independent, and sadly one day, he departed from the confines of our garden and escaped into the wilderness of the unknown. I was absolutely devastated at losing such an adorable creature, and have never seen a rabbit more beautiful and child-like than Betty. I have also never seen a rabbit get so much love and attention from people; even non-animal lovers. We are still clueless as to the whereabouts of Betty, and probably always will be. But deep down, I hope he’s out there somewhere, living a bunny rabbit’s dream.

A star as bright as Sirius

A beautiful Labrador cross available for adoption at the Sirius Dog Sanctuary

The story of Carlos:

Carlos was found weak, undernourished and dumped in a neighbourhood area, left to die in a plastic bag and discovered by a neighbour some days later. Yes he’s incredibly cute, so gets a lot of attention from whoever lays their eyes on him, but he was also frighteningly close to death, due to the arrogance and indignity of some cruel individuals.

This is just one of hundreds of real-life stories that the Sirius Dog Sanctuary, and other sanctuaries like it, has to deal with on a regular basis.

The Sirius Dog Sanctuary is a wonderful, heartwarming place, but it’s also incredibly upsetting to see the hundreds of dogs that have been beaten, abandoned and left to starve by hunters who are not satisfied with the dog’s hunting skills, or simply found wondering the streets in search of food. Thanks to the amazing help of local volunteers, the dogs get as much love and attention as can possibly be given, but due to the heavy influx of dogs on a weekly basis, it can never be enough, and they are always desperately in need of help, donations, adopters and support. The conditions are not perfect but the volunteers are doing their best, and they are currently raising money to build their own site, as the government is urging them to shut down on the grounds that they are operating on illegal property. In addition, the rent paid by the Sanctuary is sky-high, so the Sanctuary is struggling on a monthly basis with the upkeep, the vetinary bills and the daily care of the dogs.

Dogs are kicked, beaten and tortured every day, all because they do not live up to the expectations of the owner. Despite public awareness, this is something that is happening every single day. Without the compassion and support of the dedicated volunteers, these innocent creatures would be left to further suffer in pain and silence.

Please, please visit http://www.siriusdogsanctuary.com for more information. Obviously, you don’t have to adopt a dog (although there are adoptees from all over the world; apparently Sirius frequently send adopted dogs to Germany). But anything you can offer is obviously a massive help. If you have a spare hour or so, why not take a drive down to the sanctuary and enjoy a walk around the grounds with one of the dogs? Any contributions would be welcomed with open arms, including old toys, blankets or food. Sirius Dog Sanctuary certainly opened my eyes today; please spare anything you can offer for these mistreated, innocent animals.

Despite the fact that ultimately we didn’t adopt Carlos or any other puppy as adorable him, like all the other dogs and puppies at the Sirius Dog Sanctuary, I know that Carlos is now in excellent hands.