One of my favorite rainy/snowy day activities is perusing through my thousands of photos and organizing them into little folders (A touch of OCD, I know, but well worth the journey.) Some of the pictures I took of the critters on Crete made me smile, cry and laugh out loud. The island is home to an interesting and sometimes confusing array of domesticated and marginally wild animals that make Crete uniquely Crete. Amongst the numbers of wild Kri-kri goats, Griffin vultures, field rabbits and shy little hedgehogs , thousands of stray cats and dogs share island space with farm animals like chickens, goats, the occasional pig or cow, and sheep. LOTS of sheep.
Animals in Crete exist mostly for food. Contrary to what most people think, the Greeks are big meat eaters. Any good taverna or dinner table will boast a succulent lamb or goat stew, fatty pork pilafi (rice), or moist baked lemon chicken. The Mediterranean diet balances it all out with tons of fresh veggies and everything is swimming in liquid gold (olive oil.) Walk anywhere in the countryside and you will see evidence of animals at work….or resting from work.
In the city of Hania, my favorite fellow lives on the streets. He/She? is a kind old soul, very shy and passive. He’s a real loner that has loitered around the Neo Hora neighborhood sweeping the streets for many years. Other than his unruly fur, he’s in good shape thanks to kind residents who keep him supplied with curbside water and food.
And on terraces, in homes, and sometimes on dumpsters a cat or two (or twenty) can always be found. Sometimes one might even make it to a new home in the backpack of a good samaritan. (Yep, that would be my husband.)