Lydia Ellery has never been to Greece before and she couldn’t wait to get to the Greek Island of Zakynthos. Lydia was extremely excited about her upcoming trip and she planned to spend her time relaxing and soaking up the gorgeous Mediterranean sun. Lydia’s goal was to return to London with a tan, but she ended up taking back home more than that.
Ellery loves walking around the island’s rocky cliffsides, quiet coves and village tavernas. Although everything was amazing, she couldn’t help but notice the countless stray cats roaming the streets, begging for scraps of food.
“It was pretty sad — they all looked in a bad way with wounds on their skin and covered in fleas and ticks. It was one of those, ‘I wish I could save you all!’ situations,” explains Lydia.
Lydia is a longtime animal lover and she couldn’t leave all those poor cats hungry. She started using her all-inclusive meal package to feed the skinniest stray cats. One day, while feeding the cats, she got approached by another tourist. The woman told her that there was a little kitten hidden in the garbage that could really use some food. The woman had been giving food to the kitten, but unfortunately her vacation was coming to an end.
Lydia went to the location given by the woman, and saw a tiny kitten emerging from garbage cans.
“She could only have been a few weeks old. She was living where all the rubbish bags were piled up from the hotel, which obviously was very unhygienic, dirty and also dangerous. If the rubbish van had picked up all the trash bags with her in them, she would have been crushed,” says Lydia.
Lydia fed the little kitten, twice a day and she noticed that the kitten was always on her own.
“I would sneak out fish to feed her from the hotel and she would eat it like she’d never seen food before. Every time I came out she would run to my feet and sit by me — we became proper little mates,” explains Lydia.
Lydia even named the little kitten, Geoffrey.
Days went by and Lydia had to return home to the UK. She started to worry about the fate of her little buddy. She became really attached tot he little fellow and didn’t want to leave the kitten behind.
“I read about how a huge percentage of strays die once winter comes, as there are no tourists to feed them, and they simply starve to death. I couldn’t bear the thought of that happening to her after developing a such a strong bond!”says Lydia.
Lydia discovered that the kitten was actually female so she renamed her. She called her Aggie, after Agatha Christie, her favorite author.
Lydia looked for a shelter that can take Aggie but unfortunately, there’s too many stray animals in Zante so there was no place for little Aggie.
“On my last day there, a wonderful woman came and picked her up from the bins and took her to a foster home. There she was fed well, de-flead and de-wormed and had a warm bed to call her own,” says Lydia.
Although little Aggie got a home, Lydia couldn’t stop thinking about her. Despite the distance, Lydia knew that they were meant to be together. So she got Aggie a passport, vaccines and after a 2-day long boat trip Aggie was finally in the UK, reunited with her beloved friend who saved her life.
“Aggie makes life infinitely more entertaining. She’s quirky, strong-minded and brings so much presence to our lives. Whilst I miss being able to eat dinner in peace, I wouldn’t change anything for the world. She is a beautiful, unique little girl and I’m so happy I chanced upon her that day in May of last year,” explains Lydia.