Nine Lives Greece volunteers visit the kindergarten class at Athens College to meet the next generation of animal-lovers.
“Stray cats feel scared. They feel sad.” “They need love.” “Bad people put kittens in the rubbish bins.” “My mummy and daddy said we can adopt a stray kitty.”
Chrysoula and Cordelia of Nine Lives Greece were at the kindergarten class of Athens College, listening to 22 four-year-olds answering our questions about stray cats, how they feel, why there are strays, and what we can all do to help. We had been invited by their teachers Zoe and Vasilike, who are both dedicated animal-lovers determined to pass on the all-important message of love for our fellow creatures to their young charges.
We walked into the classroom to find a special “vet corner” with hospitalised soft toys, collages of animal pictures, and even photos of two newborn kittens that teacher Zoe had found in a recycling bin and brought to the classroom for the children to help with the bottle-feeding routine.
Our visit was to reinforce the message of love and responsibility, showing that everyone can volunteer and help the strays. Chrysoula, a trained nursery-school teacher herself, had prepared a multitude of activities, games, puzzles and a book-reading, as well as, of course, the lively Q&A session, asking the children questions and listening to their illuminating responses.
Flora accompanied us, a placid young tortoiseshell cat who lives at Chrysoula’s nursery school and is very comfortable around kids. She slept for most of the visit, but enjoyed a stroke from the children at the end of the session.
We are so grateful to Zoe and Vasilike and to Athens College for understanding the importance of animal welfare education even at this early age, and for giving us the opportunity to meet these wonderful, caring members of the next generation who will be taking up the baton of animal welfare and responsible ownership.