I was born in a place they called ‘Hotel’ in Paphos, Cyprus. My mum had 5 babies. We were all born under a bush in the hotel gardens. There was quite a lot of shade and as it was spring time it was warm and sunny.
I don’t remember much of the early days but I know our mum kept licking us babies. We all sucked on her. We loved the warm sweet milk.
After about 4 weeks, we were allowed to walk around on our own but my mum was not happy with me. She said the other kittens were alright but I had to stay near to her because I was very different to the other kittens.
The other baby’s eyes had opened and they could see things, good and bad. Obstacles like walls, trees, and steps, and big cats and dogs that could come and attack them.
Mum said I had to stay near her because I had to learn to live with no sight. I wouldn’t know if people were nice or nasty, if other cats were going to hurt me or be nice to me.
It was nice to know that she cared about me and I felt safe with her.
I soon learned how to play but I couldn’t see the flies and lizards I only felt the movement of the air as they flew passed me. My paw reached out and often I caught one. The other kittens didn’t have much time for me but my mum was always there for me when I needed help. If anyone went to hurt me she would hiss and frighten them away.
She was really upset one day because the man who cleans the pools came with his brush and aimed it at me. She pushed me very hard and I fell down a hole and was very scared. I hadn’t realised why she had done it but she told me later that the man had said he was going to ‘bash my head in.’ Thank goodness she was there.
By the time I was three months old I learned to recognise kind people. My mum checked them out first and if they were friendly she let them come to me. That way I got extra food the people called titbits. I loved what the people called ‘chicken’ and ‘ham.’
One day mum told me she was going to have to leave me because she was having some more babies and I would have to manage on my own. I begged her not to leave me but she said she had done what she could for me; it was something called nature. I was very sad! My brothers and sisters had given up playing with me so I was on my own.
I was very frightened and hungry because I couldn’t hunt like the other cats. One day I made a big mistake. I thought I was catching a lizard. Lizards are plentiful in Cyprus and they are very tasty. Unfortunately I found out later that I had caught a snake. His tongue came out but of course I couldn’t see it. It caught me on the side of my face. The pain was unbearable. My face was so swollen I couldn’t open my mouth for days. I thought I was going to die. I lay down in a drain where it was cool and rested. Slowly I recovered but it made me realise that what my mum had said was right, a cat with no sight had big problems!
Another time I found my way into one of the apartments near the swimming pool. It was nice and comfortable on a cosy cushion until the cleaners came with their mops and buckets. They charged at me shouting and screaming. I run as fast as I could towards the open door. They chased me and I was so scared I forgot to feel my way to avoid the many hazards. I banged my head on a garden wall. It hurt a lot, but I didn’t dare stop. I ran even faster. Suddenly I was in deep water. My head was going under and I couldn’t breathe. Children started shouting and I had no idea what to do. I was absolutely terrified! I felt a hand holding me. Normally I would have struggled but I just went limp. Out of the water and wrapped in a towel my saviour stroked my coat said, ‘Its OK kitty don’t be frightened, we will take care of you.’
He promised me I would never be hurt again. He was soon joined by others and I learned that they were Brian and Kerry and Cameron and Finley. It was two big people and two little ones. For the first time in my life I realised people could be nice. They took me back to their rooms, gave me some lovely food and cuddled me to keep me warm. It felt so good.
Kerry asked Brian “What are we going to do with her? We can’t just leave her to be bullied and beaten.” She knew I couldn’t see and she was very worried. Brian told her not to worry. He said they would think of something.
Meanwhile I made myself at home in the apartment with my new family.
Cameron and Finley carried me around like a baby and I loved it. At bed time I had difficulty choosing whose bed to sleep on. Finley was good to cuddle up to but he was a bit skinny whereas Cameron was a bit softer. Either way I was very content. I hadn’t been so happy in my life.
Brian telephoned the Animal Shelter in Paphos but nobody came for me and the family were getting desperate. Their holiday was coming to an end.
The final day arrived. They packed their cases. I knew what was going to happen. My mother had left me and now my new family was doing the same. I started to shake. I went behind the chair and curled up hoping they would realise I didn’t want to go outside and be on my own again. Cameron and Finley were sobbing. Kerry said she would come and take me home with her one day, but I knew in my heart I was in big trouble again.
They carried me outside. I clung to Kerry but she had to put me down behind a bush. I heard her crying as she walked away. My heart was racing. Once again I was alone and very afraid.
Kerry and Brian couldn’t forget their little Maya. After arriving home in Scotland they searched the internet and found Peyia Animal Rescue Club, Paphos.
Kerry Emailed Ruth and asked for help. Ruth was very concerned about Maya and went immediately to the hotel to look for her. She couldn’t find her but she did find another cat, possibly Maya’s mother She took the cat to the Veterinary and arranged for her to be spayed, treated for parasites and vaccinated which is what Parc do for cats with no owners.
The next day the little cat was returned to the hotel.
I was hiding under the bushes when Ruth came into the gardens carrying the basket with mother cat. I don’t know why but I knew she was a person I could trust. I crept out and cried. Ruth heard me and said; “Hello Maya, I have been looking for you” She lifted me and placed me in the basket on a blanket that was still warm from mother cat. I just knew I was going to be cared for.
The Veterinary, Dr. Maria took for the weekend while I had some treatment. I also had lots of good food and a nice warm bed. The next day I slept while I had an operation and nice dreams about my family.
Ruth took me to Clare, who has a cat hotel where I can stay until they can raise enough money for my treatment and flight to Scotland, to my wonderful family who love me. I miss them all so much!
I want to thank PARC (Peyia Animal Rescue Center) for helping cats and dogs who need help, like me here in Cyprus.