Cretan cats

Karen & I spent some time on Crete and Santorini in May 2015. We’d expected to see a lot of cats, but there just didn’t seem that many. We asked around and although there were some whispers about poisoning, we saw no evidence. Nor do the local charities mention anything. Maybe we were simply unlucky.

Anyway, we did see this ginger cat on Santorini (which is eye-wateringly beautiful). He walked up to me and then headed straight for my camera-bag, with the obvious intention of forcing his way in.bl01bl02

I stopped him, fully aware of the problem we in this country with illegal aliens. He took the rejection well and settled in for some grooming and sleeping.


If anyone out there knows why there seemed to be so few cats, please let us know.



The dog rules

I spoke to our neighbours a few days ago and they explained that their dog, Ben, is now allowed on one of the couches. Oh, and on the other couch as well.
It reminded me of The Dog Rules, something we had on our old website:

The dog is not permitted in the house. The dog stays outside in a specially built doghouse.
OKAY, the dog can enter the house, but only for short visits, or if his own house is being renovated.
OKAY, the dog can stay in the house on a permanent basis provided his doghouse can be sold at a car-boot sale.

Inside the house, the dog is not allowed to run free and is confined to a comfortable, but secure metal cage.
OKAY, the cage becomes part of a “two for the price of one” deal at the car-boot sale and the dog can go wherever the hell he pleases.

The dog is never allowed on the furniture.
OKAY, the dog can get up on the old furniture, but not the new furniture.
OKAY, the dog can get up on the new furniture until it looks like the old furniture and then we’ll sell the whole works and buy new furniture on which the dog will most definitely not be allowed.

The dog never sleeps on the bed. Never ever.
OKAY, the dog can sleep at the foot of the bed only.
OKAY, the dog can sleep alongside you, but he’s not allowed under the covers.
OKAY, the dog can sleep under the covers, but not with his head on the pillow.
OKAY, the dog can sleep alongside you, under the covers, with his head on the pillow, but if he snores, he has to leave the room.
OKAY, the dog can sleep and snore and fart and have nightmares in your bed, but he’s not to come in and sleep on the couch in the living room, where you are now sleeping. That’s just not fair. Who does he think he is?

Anyway, who is the boss around here?

Obviously, Karen and I are very strict about dogs and furniture:




A couple of weeks ago, in the post about assistance dogs, we mentioned Toby, a retired sniffer dog.
Sadly, a few days ago, Toby passed away.
He lived in our village for a short period and spent his final years with a wonderful couple in Stonesfield, Anna and John. He was a great guy and a wonderful example of how the human-animal bond can work.
Toby was a large black Labrador who spent the first part of his life as a “sniffer dog”, working with a group searching for explosives, keeping us safe. He was forced to retire after years of work and was taken under the wing of a group of volunteers who rescue Labrador dogs. They asked us to find a home for him, which we did.

Like many people I know, Toby relished his retirement and the only times he was prepared to use his sniffer ability was to find food (obviously not the food in his bowl) in an act we can only call ‘stealing’. At least he was blatant about it.and utterly unashamed. He also had an uncanny ability to find water to jump into, regardless of whether he could climb out unassisted. As I mentioned, he was a big lad and it was not always easy to drag or lift him out of rivers and ponds.

In his old age he fulfilled the role of companion with verve, and was a good and reliable friend.

Toby was a gentle soul and we shall never forget him.



Karen & Harry