Since we canceled our trip to Morocco, we chose another destination – and the odds brought us to Cyprus. Are we glad we changed our mind? Hell, yes! I’m sure Morocco would have been fun, too, but our week in Paphos was just definitely another highlight to our year.
Why, you ask? Oh, it’s because of the cats.
For this trip, as for every other trip, we left our two cats at home. Don’t worry, they’re being taken care of while we’re away, spoiled even, by my aunt who is also our next-door neighbor (I swear they always seem to have gained weight every time we come back from our trips and they seem annoyed by our presence).
So did we really fly all the way to Cyprus to take care of other kitties? Absolutely!
When we looked up our possible options after we canceled the trip to Morocco, Paphos came to mind right away. The airline I work for offers direct flights to Paphos even in winter so the discount on tickets didn’t hurt, not to mention the accommodation rates this time of the year are awfully cheap. What really sealed the deal, though, was the tips on several travel forums and blogs I stumbled upon that featured this one place – Tala Monastery Cat Sanctuary.
This cat sanctuary accommodates about 450 cats where they are fed, cleaned, and cared for by volunteers. You can drop by anytime within their opening hours to play or just snuggle up with some furry friends, and you can also volunteer to help feed them and clean the place up. There is no entrance fee to the park but donations are well appreciated.
We even came prepared with treats we brought all the way from home which we ended up giving to the strays we met along the way (there are really so many of them) since we were also not allowed give it to the cats inside the sanctuary to avoid starting a riot among them, understandably. So we went inside and there where cats literally everywhere. We made one round to see the whole place then found a place to sit. Almost automatically, a cat comes around to cuddle. Then another one. Then another one. Repeat a couple of times and now you’re the crazy cat lady you’ve always dreamt of becoming. I seriously never felt more loved before that moment and I couldn’t help myself wishing I had more hands to pet them with.
If only my own cats knew just how lucky they are!
But cats are just everywhere in this city and it’s a good thing we always had treats ready. Most of them aren’t even shy so they are probably used to being fed by the people that come around randomly (it’s always a good sign to see an empty can of cat food nearby).
Even outside our apartment we found a little family – a mother and her four young kittens. We made sure mummy was well fed so she can nurse her little ones and they can grow up strong and healthy. We got her a feeding bowl to encourage other people to feed her as well.
But one evening they just weren’t sitting at their usual spot. Soon enough the mother showed up but without her kittens. We have no idea where they are or if they had been rescued, which raised the question, why only rescue the kittens and not take the mother? It just didn’t seem fair. I hope the mother just found another hiding place for them but I guess we’ll never know. We kept feeding her anyway until our very last day and hoped that other tourists will do the same.
Here are some other photos of the cats we have met during our week in Paphos.