The resulting befriending of Delilah cannot be regaled in a short one-off article of a few thousand words. Complicated interaction and gained insights will take a whole book, so that is what I have done. EnCatlopedia captures all that I am capable of expressing about Delilah and her life. It has been over twelve months in the writing, and will take a lot longer to finish as it evolves with fresh ideas. In the meantime, this single page has inserted into it the Introduction to EnCatlopedia. I do not envisage that this will change much, unlike the preceding chapters. I will permeate this work with images which do not have any relationship to the text, other than they are of Delilah and her three kittens, Dingle, Dodo and Doodle. You could also read – Doodle Poisoned – on another page of Kitten Rescue.
Time spent on the Island of Crete threw up some very new and interesting experiences. The one that impacted my life during that time the most was Delilah. Delilah is a cat, in many respects very ordinary. Nothing about her at first sight is that much dissimilar from one feral to another, except she decided to entwine our lives together as this was to her benefit and welfare. That did give her a very distinct and unusual character and set her apart from the tribe. Not a destiny I had in mind. Sharing my resources and life was not of any interest to me, particularly in the way of taking in and caring for a pet. Delilah never became a pet, far from it. As our relationship developed, it became a very distinct part of her character to retain a certain amount of her wildness, or feralness. Whether that was something of her deliberate choosing, or just the natural instincts driving her to act can never be understood. Through her resourcefulness and my soft heartedness we share the same living space. She comes and goes as she pleases, eats as and when she pleases, sleeps where and when and on what she pleases, plays when and with what she pleases, wants or more bluntly demands affection as and when she wants it and everything else in her life is as she pleases it to be. Anyway, that is the way I have come to know it. Except, like every other sentient being there are many feline things she has to deal with in her own emotional way, and that may not always be in the way she pleases.
Crete and the Cretan way of life have a very strong draw. Once one has taken the deep breath of that seductive atmosphere, the only remedy is to embrace it to the full. A Mediterranean climate, cool winters and hot summers allows one to practice a greater percentage of one’s living habits out under an azure sky. The numerous Cretan tavernas give an inexhaustible choice of where to spend an evening or lunchtime. A considerable choice over which combination of meze and local wine to grace each own pallet, produces an amusement entered into with delight before each meal. One can only indulge and devour over hours, and I mean hours, in dreamy unforgettable conversations in refreshing breezes. Stunning mountain or coastal views during both summer and winter complete an idyllic picture. With the sea on one side then gyrate, beautiful mountains no longer obscured at your rear will, for a breath-taking moment capture the focus of the eye; that gasp of breath at their magnificence is hard to hold back. In the short winter wintry log fires entice one out beckoning with every flicker of a flame. The romantic warmth of an open blazing fire is hard to resist. With arms outstretch and hands spread soaking up the radiated warmth, the glowing splintering wood spits its way into the senses, beckoning all not to miss the panoramas waiting to be viewed. Land and seascapes glazed by lashings of cool rain one contemplates misty mountain tops and white foaming seas. It gets a little cold from the sharp winds that now caress the island shoreline. A warm pullover, light coat or jacket are not hard to swallow as a winter burden. One is comforted by thoughts occupied and poised months ahead, willing those warmer and pleasant times to rush in and swallow up the present.
One or two hours’ drive over seasonal changing mountains and the South coast is at your pleasure, North coast if you live in the South. No matter where you are the constant panorama of the foamy briny is nearly always visible in one direction or the other, if not immediate is still only a bearable distance away. With the passing of winter the receding snow line losses its once velvety white topped veneer, the mountain glaciers now fill the streams with ice-cold water. Spring gives way to a thick lush array of wild flowers, Capparis Spinosa and Acanthus Spinosus. Tall grasses; bamboo hedgerows recover their winter bashing at an alarming rate. By the end of July, the heat has dried and browned all and even the trees can be seen to wilt from dehydration in the heat.
The feral cat population presents an island-wide problem. Delilah was one of the lucky few, taken out of her short savage life as a young kitten, maybe six to eight months old into the protection of semi-domestication. What most people blindly ignore became part of my daily field of vision as insights into the life of a feral cat dramatically unfolded. Born into a worldly realm fraught with danger, one paw in and one paw out from human dependency that impacts their lifestyles to a deadly degree. Not daring to tease humans overly for survival but dependent on the titbits we do not want, they exploit human tenderness through a pestering manner. There are only a few that care and are willing to stretch out a loving hand of compassion. Where vision is not blurred and a heart is touched to the plight of another, particularly when it is not human and by most is labelled as insignificant. A life invisible and not worth the effort to be concerned about. Hunger is hunger, no matter what kind of a being. The effects of disease and malnutrition are the same for all. Believing only the human condition suffers and needs tending is ignorance, this leads to a decadent spirit and an immoral attitude towards other creatures is where most are when believing in such a thing. For myself and others this is not the way it is, having a concern for all types of life seems to be imbedded within the human heart. Even spiders are carefully ejected out of the home and not washed down a plughole or squashed. The only exemptions to the rule are mosquitos, you try to suck the lifeblood out of me, and I will surely exterminate you. If one is capable of reaching out at times without self-danger and being overburdened, then we do have the capacity to respond, and do.
Delilah, through her persistence was delivered from the hardness and dangers of a predestined short life. The fusion of human and wild life dwelling in harmony is what comes next. Sometimes humorous, often serious and occasionally sad. The extended insight into a non-human sentient being is what EnCatlopedia is revealing. Discovering the undiscovered, being amazed, surprised, shocked, and saddened at loss. Waking up to all that is around us as life really is, alive in all its allusions and it is only a finger’s length away. All it requires is for one to open closed eyes and heart.
It is about Delilah in the only way I can find to express her.