*Other than the 5 we live with at home.
It’s almost like trying to pick a favorite kid. We’ve met hundreds, if not thousands, of cats over the years as we’ve traveled throughout Europe and we have fond memories of all of them. It’s true we’ve never come across a mean cat in our travels, thank goodness, and most of the cats are, if not friendly, at least tolerant of our attention. The 5 in this list though, have stolen our hearts over the years. Sometimes it’s their beauty we remember and other times there’s personality, but for one reason or another, these are our favorite cats from our European travels. By the way, this list is not our best cat photos, just our favorite cats.
1. Corfu, Greece
This beautiful little tabby walked up to us as we were eating lunch at the Apollon Hotel restaurant at Paleokastritsa Beach on the island of Corfu, Greece. She had the most beautiful clear green eyes we had ever seen on a cat. Just a sweet, gorgeous little girl. Of course we fed her a little of my tuna, but she was more interested in just hanging out next to and under our table than eating. We ended up taking about 60 photos of her (minimum), but we’ll spare you all but a handful or two of them. With the turquoise sea about 100 yards from us, the beautiful warm smell of salt water, and this amazing creature letting us pet and hang out with her, this was one of the most memorable lunches we’ve had.
2. Athens, Greece
Another lunchtime companion, this time in the Plaka district under Acropolis Hill in Athens, Greece. We actually were lucky enough to have two companions that afternoon, but this sweet little gray kitten stole our heart. He was so skittish we felt sorry for him, but he was tough and persistent even when our other lunchtime cat companion was being nasty to him and trying to steal his food. The little gray guy had the biggest feet and the saddest eyes, but he seemed healthy and we made sure he got some food. Wonderful lunch with a memorable lunchmate.
3. Matera, Italy
We came across this girl in a residential section of the wonderful World Heritage city of Matera, Italy. We spotted her from far away and she just patiently waited for us to arrive – she probably sensed we were bringing dry food, but for whatever reason, she turned out to be another one of the most beautiful, sweetest cats we’ve come across on our trips. There were about 5 cats in this particular spot, but all the others were kittens. We just stayed close to them and took photos for probably a half hour. The eyes on this cat were memorable. The colors in the photo are what she looked like – an olive green and yellow, with a clear separation of the two colors. Her coat had a lilac tint to it which you can almost see in the photos. I’ve never seen a cat with eyes or a coat this color. Just a beautiful cat and one we’ll remember.
4. Vernazza, Italy
We met this guy on an afternoon walk through the city of Vernazza, Italy, one of the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre. Vernazza happens to be one of the more photogenic of the villages with a picturesque harbor and colorful shops. This cat was a shop cat and you could tell was a little bit spoiled and unconcerned with all the activity around him. As soon as we spotted him sitting in a basket on the counter, we knew we had to say “hi”. Not the most friendly or the most exotic looking cat, but it’s not always about the “sweet and loveable” that makes a cat memorable. As we were talking to the shop owner (and cat owner), this guy put his hand on a souvenir towel and seemingly pushed it towards us as we stood there. Of course we had to buy the towel. Very cute cat who we also think of often.
5. Rhodes, Greece
Not a lot of good photos of this guy (he had a friend with him, too), but he had the most adorable personality of any of the cats we’ve shared a meal with. This was a wonderful lunch in the Old Town section of Rhodes, Greece. A wonderful old town with castles, history and of course sunny Greek beaches to enjoy. This guy looked a little goofy but that was part of his charm. We saw him twice throughout the day and he seemed to just hang around the city gate at the entrance to the ancient city near the cruise port. If you happen to pay a visit to Rhodes anytime soon, walk in and head to the right to find Welcome Cafe so you can enjoy some great Greek food and hopefully find a couple of fun dining companions.